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BMI Calculator

BMI Calculator

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Fact checked by Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on January 27, 2023
1013 Views
5 min
BMI Calculator
BMI = 1,605 kg/m²
Underweight
Normal
Overweight
Obesity
bmi-marker 27.7

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What Is BMI?

BMI refers to body mass index. The body mass index is a measurement that calculates whether you are a healthy weight based on your height and current weight. 

The BMI formula divides an individual’s weight in kilograms by height in square meters.

It is a healthcare method used to assess weight categories to identify the potential for certain health risks, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A high BMI reading can indicate that the person may have too much body fat, but it doesn’t count as a medical diagnosis for the person’s health status.

How to Calculate BMI?

To calculate your BMI, you need to know your height and weight. 

Measure your height using a tape measure. Stand up tall and straight against a wall. Measure the distance from the floor to the top of your head. 

To measure your body weight, you can use ordinary bathroom scales or visit your doctor and have them weigh you at the office.

Using our BMI calculator, you can enter your height and weight and wait for your results to generate. 

Body mass index uses a simple formula: 

BMI = kg/m2 

Kg refers to your weight in kilograms, and m2 refers to your height in square meters. 

Healthy BMI

A healthy BMI means that you are carrying adequate weight for your height. It means you don’t need to lose weight or gain weight. You should maintain your current body weight. 

You can maintain a healthy BMI with a healthy diet and regular physical activity. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the healthy BMI for adults aged 20 years and over is: 

18.5–24.9

This is categorized as a healthy weight. It applies to both men and women of all ages (from 20 years) and body types.

Other outcomes fall into the following categories: 

Below 18.5: underweight 

25.0–29.9: overweight 

30.0 and above: obesity 

What Should My BMI Be?

Your BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9 to determine a healthy weight. 

However, the healthy body mass index is for adults aged 20 years and over. It is calculated based on weight and height and does not consider your age or sex. 

There are further limitations to the BMI method. 

It can confirm if you are carrying excessive weight, but it can not determine if the extra weight is fat, muscle, or your bones. This can be problematic, as healthy adults may generate an unhealthy BMI result.

For example, if you’re carrying a lot of muscle as you train regularly, the BMI scale may put you in the overweight or obese category. 

So, you may be perfectly fit and still receive a negative score. Keep this in mind when calculating your BMI.

Overweight BMI

A body mass index of 25.0–29.9 is classed as overweight. 

If your result says that you are overweight, it’d be a good idea to speak to your doctor. 

If it’s clear that you are carrying excess body fat and your result is not due to higher muscle mass, you can discuss options to help you lose weight. 

Being overweight raises your risk of various health conditions, especially if you fall into the obese category. The CDC provides a long list of potential risk factors for overweight individuals. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol levels 
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke 
  • Many cancers
  • Greater mortality risk
  • Mental health problems including anxiety and depression

Carrying excess weight puts your overall health at risk. It’s essential to seek advice from a trained medical professional if you want to lose weight. 

You should lose weight gradually for the safest, most sustainable results. You can discuss a weight loss program with your doctor and begin making positive changes to your lifestyle. 

Healthy weight loss success comes from eating right and moving your body regularly. 

What’s a Good BMI?

A good BMI is a healthy BMI. 

Any number between 18.5 and 24.9 suggests a healthy weight. Just remember, the formula doesn’t decipher between fat and muscle mass.

Average BMI for Women

The average BMI for an adult woman in the United States is 29.6. That falls into the far end of the overweight category, bordering the obese category.

According to statistics, more than two-thirds of all adult Americans are categorized as either overweight or obese. 

A data report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2017–2018 revealed that nearly 1 in 3 adults are overweight, 2 in 5 adults are obese, and 1 in 11 adults are severely obese. 

The BMI method can be tricky when assessing the differences between men and women. Women generally have a higher body fat percentage than men for reproductive purposes, but the body mass index calculation doesn’t account for this factor.

Average BMI for Men

Results from 2016 show that the average man in the United States has a BMI of 29.1

Again, this falls into the overweight group. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the average man is overweight in all cases. A high body mass index is normal for muscular individuals as their muscle mass is more significant.

Children’s BMI

The BMI calculator is not only for adults. You can use the BMI calculator to check your child’s body mass index to ensure they fit within the healthy range.

BMI works slightly differently for children. For children aged 2 years to teenagers up to 19, age, sex, height, and weight are all used to determine BMI.  

BMI is important for children and teens, as a high percentage of body fat at a young age can lead to future medical concerns. At the same time, underweight children are also prone to health risks and complications.

Unlike the BMI results for adults, the calculator provides a percentile rather than a specific number. A child’s BMI is interpreted in relation to other children of the same age and sex. It refers back to old national surveys.

The calculator will determine the following outcomes: 

Underweight: less than the 5th percentile

Healthy weight: 5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile

Overweight: 85th percentile to less than the 95th percentile

Obesity: The same or greater than the 95th percentile

Percentile clinical growth charts are the most popular method in the US for measuring the size and growth of children and young people. 

Checking your child’s BMI can serve as a helpful tool to indicate if they may be at risk of potential health conditions. With the correct information, you can seek assistance from your doctor or health care provider where necessary. 

If you think your child is overweight based on their BMI score, arrange a visit to determine if the high score is due to excess body fat. 

You can then assess whether to make lifestyle changes, such as healthier eating habits or an exercise routine.

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