What is Body Mass Index?


Body Mass Index

There are so many ways to calculate whether you’re overweight and, if you are, by how much. It can be awful confusing as to which method you should use. So, how do you truly know whether you should lose weight to be healthy and, if so, how much weight loss will put you in a healthy range?

Body Mass Index Defined

Your body mass index is one way of calculating whether you’re at risk for developing weight related conditions. It is a formula which takes your height and weight into consideration and tells you whether you’re underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.


If you want to calculate yours online, you can use the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s online calculator. Or, if you prefer to do it by hand, just use this simple formula:

(Weight in Pounds) divided by (Height in Inches squared);

take that answer and multiply by 703


(Weight in Kilograms) divided by (Height in Meters squared)


If your answer is less than 18.5, then you are underweightaccording to the body mass index. That means that in order to be healthy, you should gain a little weight. Of course, you should do this by adding more healthy, nutritious foods to your diet.

If your number is between 18.5 and 24.9, then you are considered normal weight, so congratulations! That means that your current weight does not put you at an increased risk of any major conditions or diseases.

However, if your number is between 25 and 29.9, then you areoverweight according to this standard of measurement. That means that you’re at a higher risk of developing heart disease, strokes, cancer and other major and sometimes deadly illnesses. Lose a little weight and you’ll lower your risk of any futurehealth complications.

And, finally, if you’re above 30, then you are considered obese. That means that you have a very high risk of weight related conditions like the ones mentioned above.

The good news is that you can lower your risk by just taking measures to get your body mass index in the normal range. Eat a healthy diet and get in some physical activity and you will have the greatest chance of keeping your health for years to come.

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