The body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of your height and weight. To calculate your BMI, use this formula:

weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.

Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5'5" (65")

Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96

If your BMI is between 25 and 30, you are considered overweight; if it is above 30, you are considered obese. For instance, if you are 5’ 5” tall and weigh 151 pounds, you are considered to be “overweight.” If you are the 5’ 5” tall and weigh 180 pounds, you are in the “obese” category. If you are 5’ 11”, you are overweight at 179 pounds and obese at 215 pounds. Again, being overweight or obese is associated with a risk of chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the BMI is used by many healthcare practitioners, it can be misleading in some adults. Some men and women may be given a higher BMI yet have large frames or an abundance of muscle. Even though these men and women may have a BMI over 25, they may not have excessive body fat.