Is BMI important?

What is BMI?  Is it important?  Why is your BMI important? BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is calculated from a persons weight and height.   It can be used as an alternative to calculate body fat without direct measures of body fat (calipers).

Why is it used?  BMI measurements are used to help determine weight problems for adults.  BMI is an inexpensive and accurate way to calculate body fat and allow people to compare their own weight status to the general population.

How to calculate your BMI?

For adults 20 years of age and older:  Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply by a conversion factor of 703.  So for example if you weighed 150 pounds and you were 5ft 5 inches tall (or 65 inches) you would take (150/(65*65)) x 703 = 24.96

The Standard weight categories are as follows:

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

Is BMI 100% accurate?  Well there are considerations to make.  For example if you are very muscular your BMI might show you as overweight or Obese because it’s just going off of Height and Weight.  Women tend to have more body fat than men so there are different tables available online to use.

Use of BMI is a simple inexpensive way to help calculate body fat.  Overweight and obese individuals are at a greater risk for many diseases and health conditions so being aware of you BMI can increase your awareness of possible health conditions.


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