Body Mass Index

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How To Determine Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

Is Your Weight Affecting Your Health?


Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that can help adults determine whether you are at risk for a weight-related illness by correlating the ratio between your height and weight with body fat.

The body mass index (BMI) is an index number (a ratio of weight/height) that has been used in nutrition research to determine which height/weight relationship are safer, and which numbers correspond to greater risk.

BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults.  However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool.  For example, a person may have a high BMI.  However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments.  These assessments might include skin-fold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

Being overweight puts strain on your heart and can lead to serious health problems.  These problems include Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, varicose veins, and other chronic conditions.  More than 300,000 lives could be saved in the United States each year if everyone maintained a healthy weight!

Note:  The BMI ranges used in this calculator derive from the BMI guidelines of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), of the National Institutes of Health, as published in Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, 1998.



How To Determine Your Body Mass Index (BMI)


Find your height in inches across the top of the chart and then locate your weight down the left side column. Where the weight and height boxes come together, that is your BMI.


5 ft. = 60 inches                                                6 ft. = 72 inchesWeight in Pounds

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Health Risk Classification According to Body Mass Index (BMI)Note: For persons 65 years and older the ‘normal’ range may begin slightly above BMI 18.5 and extend into the ‘overweight’ range.
ClassificationBMI CategoryRisk of developing health problemsUnderweight< 18.5Increased

Normal Weight

18.5 – 24.9



25.0 – 29.9



30.0 – 34.9



35.0 – 39.9

Very high

Morbidly obese

>= 40.0

Extremely high



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