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What is BMI?

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a new term to most people. However, it is the measurement of choice for many physicians and researchers studying obesity. BMI uses a mathematical formula that takes into account both a person's height and weight.  For adults over 20 years old, BMI falls into one of these categories:

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 24.9 Normal
25.0 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

 

Note:  BMI for Children and Teens is based on gender and age specific charts.  For more information, please use link:  BMI for Children and Teens

BMI correlates with body fat. The relation between fatness and BMI differs with age and gender. For example, women are more likely to have a higher percent of body fat than men for the same BMI. On average, older people may have more body fat than younger adults with the same BMI.1

Determining Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

The table below has already done the math and metric conversions. To use the table, find the appropriate height in the left-hand column. Move across the row to the given weight. The number at the top of the column is the BMI for that height and weight.

 

BMI
(kg/m2)
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 35 40
Height
(in.)
Weight (lb.)
58 91 96 100 105 110 115 119 124 129 134 138 143 167 191
59 94 99 104 109 114 119 124 128 133 138 143 148 173 198
60 97 102 107 112 118 123 128 133 138 143 148 153 179 204
61 100 106 111 116 122 127 132 137 143 148 153 158 185 211
62 104 109 115 120 126 131 136 142 147 153 158 164 191 218
63 107 113 118 124 130 135 141 146 152 158 163 169 197 225
64 110 116 122 128 134 140 145 151 157 163 169 174 204 232
65 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156 162 168 174 180 210 240
66 118 124 130 136 142 148 155 161 167 173 179 186 216 247
67 121 127 134 140 146 153 159 166 172 178 185 191 223 255
68 125 131 138 144 151 158 164 171 177 184 190 197 230 262
69 128 135 142 149 155 162 169 176 182 189 196 203 236 270
70 132 139 146 153 160 167 174 181 188 195 202 207 243 278
71 136 143 150 157 165 172 179 186 193 200 208 215 250 286
72 140 147 154 162 169 177 184 191 199 206 213 221 258 294
73 144 151 159 166 174 182 189 197 204 212 219 227 265 302
74 148 155 163 171 179 186 194 202 210 218 225 233 272 311
75 152 160 168 176 184 192 200 208 216 224 232 240 279 319
76 156 164 172 180 189 197 205 213 221 230 238 246 287 328

 

How does BMI relate to health?

The BMI ranges are based on the effect body weight has on disease and death.2  As BMI increases, the risk for some disease increases. Some common conditions related to overweight and obesity include3

  • Premature death
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Some cancers
  • Diabetes

BMI is only one of many factors used to predict risk for disease. BMI cannot be used to tell a person if he/she has a disease such as diabetes or cancer. It is important to remember that weight is only one factor that is related to disease.

 

References

1 Gallagher D, et al. How useful is BMI for comparison of body fatness across age, sex and ethnic groups? American Journal of Epidemiology 1996;143:228239.

2 World Health Organization. Physical status: The use and interpretation of anthropometry. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization 1995. WHO Technical Report Series.

3 Calle EE, et al. BMI and mortality in prospective cohort of U.S. adults. New England Journal of Medicine 1999;341:10971105.

 

 

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