Body Mass Index
The body mass index (BMI) is a tool used to assess overweight and obesity status. It is an estimate of body fat and can help assess your risk for diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. BMI is calculated using a formula based on your height and weight. While BMI can be useful in nutrition assessment, it does have some limitations. BMI may overestimate body fat in athletes and others with increased muscle mass. In addition, BMI may underestimate body fat in older people who have lost muscle mass. You can calculate your own BMI using an online calculator such as the one found at:
Compare your results to the BMI table below to determine your status.
|Normal||18.5 – 24.9|
|Overweight||25.0 – 29.9|
|Obesity class I||30.0 – 34.9|
|Obesity class II||35.0 – 39.9|
|Obesity class III||Greater than 40.0|
If you are obese (BMI greater than 30) or are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) with two of the following risk factors (high blood pressure, high bad (LDL) cholesterol, low good (HDL) cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, family history of heart disease, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking), it is recommended that you lose weight. Even losing ten percent of your body weight over a six month period will significantly decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases.
**Source: National Institutes of Health**