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BMI Calculator


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What is BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). BMI can be considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

How is BMI used?

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

How to use the BMI chart?

On the BMI Calculator to the left, first tick your gender and body condition. Then, using the sliding scale indicator, enter your current height and weight. Your BMI is automatically calculated. Using this BMI, look it up on the chart below and determine which category you currently fall in.

Blue - Underweight

Green - Healthy

Yellow - Overweight

Orange - Obese

Red – Extremely Obese

Please note

The medical fraternity has identified and acknowledged some of the limitations of BMI. BMI calculation is solely dependant on the net weight and height of the individual and does not consider the distribution of muscle and bone mass. BMI also does not differentiate between body fat and muscle mass. This may often result in misleading information with regard to the amount of fat in an individual. There is a potential risk of overestimating ‘fatness’ in individuals with high muscle mass, such as body-builders, and underestimating the fat deposit in those with less lean body mass, such as the elderly.