What is Body Mass Index?

Body mass index (BMI)”>Body mass index (BMI)) BMI is a measure of body weight relative to height.

How is Body Mass Index calculated?

The BMI tool uses a formula that produces a score often used to determine if a person is underweight, at a normal weight, overweight, or obese.

BMI categories

For adults, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy (or “normal”). A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits:

  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
  • It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.

Use the BMI Calculator or BMI Tables to estimate your body fat. The BMI score means the following:

BMI
Underweight
Below 18.5
Normal
18.5–24.9
Overweight
25.0–29.9
Obesity
30.0 and Above

Waist Circumference

Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk goes up with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

Children’s BMI

Children grow at different rates at different times, so it is not always easy to tell if a child is overweight. BMI charts for children compare their height and weight to other children of their same sex and age.

For children ages 2 to19, those who are at or above the 85th percentile are considered overweight. Those who are at or above the 95th percentile are considered obese.Glossary of obesity

Body mass index chart for adults

CDC adult BMI calculator

CDC children BMI calculator

Body Mass Index frequently asked questions

  • Is 24 BMI good or bad?
  • What is the normal BMI?
  • How do you get an accurate BMI?
  • Is BMI accurate for everyone?
  • What should your BMI be if you are 5 7?
  • Is a BMI of 27 good or bad?
  • How much should a 5 3 female weigh?
  • What is a good body fat percentage?
  • What is overweight for a 13 year old?
  • How accurate is BMI if you are muscular?
  • How good is BMI as an indicator of health?
  • Is the BMI outdated?
  • How much should I weigh for my age and height?
  • What should your BMI be if you are 5 2?
  • How can I lose tummy fat fast?
  • How can I lose 15 pounds quickly?
  • What is my BMI if I weigh 160?
  • How can you calculate your body fat?
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