Body Mass Index (BMI)
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Body-mass index is a measure of “relative weight,” in other words, how much you weigh relative to your height. It has essentially supplanted the older Metropolitan Life Insurance weight-height tables of “ideal weight.” The formula for BMI is in metric units: kilograms per meter-squared.
Unlike older tables, BMI does not attempt to adjust ideal weight for frame size. A BMI of less than 18.5 is underweight, 18.5- 24.9 is normal weight, 25-29.9 is overweight, 30-39.9 is obese, and 40+ is severely obese (usually 100+ lbs over ideal weight).
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Experts say the old height/weight charts aren’t necessarily the best way to determine whether a person needs to lose or gain weight. Instead, they use as a guide Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of how much fat you’re packing. If you are curious about your BMI and math is not your strong suit, you can find BMI calculators online.
Here’s what the numbers indicate:
Underweight: Below 18.5
Normal: 18.5–24.9
Overweight: 25.0–29.9
Obese: 30.0 and above
Morbidly Obese: 40.0 and above
Body mass index (BMI) is a formula that measures a person’s body weight relative to their height. BMI is determined by weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2). It is a useful, indirect measure of body composition, and in most people it correlates highly with body fat. In studies by the National Center for Health Statistics, BMI values less than 18.5 are considered underweight. Those from 18.5 to 24.9 are healthy. Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25.0 to 29.9. A BMI of about 25 kg/m2 corresponds to about 10 percent over ideal body weight. People with a BMI in this range have a moderate risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30.0 or greater (based on criteria of the World Health Organization), or about 30 pounds overweight. People with a BMI of 30 or more are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Extreme obesity is defined as a BMI of 40 or greater.
Body mass index (BMI) measures the relationship (or ratio) of your weight to your height. It is an estimation of body composition based on the notion that your body weight should be proportional to your height.