How to Calculate Body Mass Index
The body mass index (BMI) is an objective measurement that can be used to help people effectively manage their
body weight. In order to calculate your body mass index you will need to know your weight in kilograms and your
height in meters. The simple mathematical calculation involves just dividing your weight by the squared measurement
of your height.
One of the primary benefits of the body mass index calculation is that it takes some of the emotional factors
out of decisions and judgments about weight and the need for weight loss. Because it is a mathematical formula the
takes both height and weight into consideration, it truly is an unbiased means of coming up with a quantitative
indicator of the presence or absence of a weight problem.
Body mass index is used to indicate whether or not a person falls in a range of being underweight, normal
weight, overweight, or obese. In an adult, a body mass index of 18.5 or lower is considered underweight. The normal
range for body mass index is between 18.5 to just under 25. A BMI of 25 to just under 30 is considered overweight.
Those with a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese, with 40 being the indicator of the presence of extreme
Those whose body mass index falls in or near the range of obesity need to be aware of the health risks
associated with having a high body mass index, so they can take necessary steps to reduce their risk factors. Some
of the numerous diseases and conditions that are associated with a high body mass index include the following:
increased chances for developing heart disease, increased risk of developing diabetes, and an increased occurrence
of high blood pressure.
Body mass index is, of course, not a perfect measurement. While it does take into consideration both height and
weight, it does not factor in other factors that may impact a person’s health and fitness. For example, it doesn’t
take athletic conditioning or muscle-to-fat ratio into conditioning. However, muscle does weigh more than fat.
Therefore, a person with a high degree of muscle mass might have a deceptively high body mass index. Such a person
is not necessarily at risk for health problems related to his or her body mass index. The body mass index also does
not allow for considerations related to different body types, gender, or body fat percentage.
Waist circumference has recently received notoriety as a key indicator for health problems associated with
obesity. Research has indicated there is an association between several health problems and a person’s tendency to
store excess body fat around their waist and abdomen areas. Generally speaking, men with waist measurements of 40
inches or larger and women with waist circumferences of 35 inches or larger are believed to have heightened health
No single measurement can paint a complete picture about management of weight or body fat, or the health related
consequences associated with these issues. Still, it is beneficial to utilize these useful and telling measures
when making decisions about the best weight loss program to help you obtain your overall fitness goals.