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The formula for BMI is in metric units: kilograms per meter-squared. If you don’t want to convert your height and weight to metric, there are multiple calculators on the web to use (search for “BMI calculator), or you can use the following non-metric formula: 704 times (X) pounds of body weight, divided by height in inches-squared.
The same formula is used for adult men and women of any age, but children are graphed on a different chart, and BMI is expressed as a percentile for that age or height.
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.
To calculate your body mass index (BMI), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a calculator. Or you can look up your height and weight in the CDC’s BMI Index Chart. Here are general guidelines.
- If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
- If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or healthy weight range.
- If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
- If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
For adults over 20 years of age, the BMI is interpreted using these standard weight categories that are the same for all adults, both men and women. For children and teens, however, BMI is both age- and gender-specific.
The CDC gives this example: A person with a height of 5 feet, 9 inches, would fall into the normal weight range if he or she weighs between 125 pounds and 168 pounds. But if this same individual weighs between 169 pounds and 202 pounds, he or she is classified as overweight. If the person weighs over 203 pounds, he or she is categorized as obese.
To figure out your BMI it will require a little math. I use charts and graphs with my live clients so it is faster and easier to gauge where someone is.
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703
Or your BMI will be figured out for you when you go through Dr. Oz's 11 Weeks to Move it and Lose it in 2011. Just visit http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/move-it-and-lose-it-2011 to get started today!
A healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) reading is 18.5--24.9. The official scores are as follows;
Below 18.5 = Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 = Normal
25.0 – 29.9 = Overweight
30.0 - 39.9 = Obese
40 and above = Morbidly obese
To determine your body mass index you must know your weight and your height. Watch this video demonstration of a BMI calculation.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.