The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an approximate measure of body fat based on your height and weight. It is important to remember that as a person’s BMI goes higher, this also increases the risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and certain cancers.
However, it does not accurately measure body fat percentage. For example, athletes have a high muscle-fat ratio and may have a high BMI rating yet be in excellent health. Excess body fat is the main cause of weight-related diseases. Thus, it is important to talk to your doctor regarding your personal health condition.
To calculate your BMI, use the slider controls to indicate your height and weight.
To get iMetabolic’s Animated BMI Calculator gadget for your own website please visit our BMI gadget page.
A body mass index from 18 to 25 is considered normal. The reason it is considered normal has nothing to do with appearance or style or anyone’s opinion; it comes from health statistics and nothing more.
When the body mass index exceeds 25, then the rate of developing health problems goes up, and goes up sharply. Diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, sleep disturbance and sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart disease, asthma and lung disease are all correlated with rising BMI.
A body mass index between 25 and 30 is considered “overweight.” People in this category should strive to lose weight and work to keep their body mass index below 25.
A body mass index between 30 and 35 is termed “obese.” While none of us likes that term, in the medical lexicon it is used specifically to describe when the body mass index reaches a very unhealthy level. At this point the health problems associated with weight gain are more severe and occur earlier in life. There is a decrease in life expectancy that continues to become more pronounced as the body mass index increases.
With better recognition of the adverse health effects of rising BMI, more serious and aggressive solutions have been recommended. For example, weight loss surgery is now widely considered an appropriate treatment when the body mass index is over 35. There is increasing data that it may be appropriate for people with a body mass index over 30.
In addition, medically supervised weight loss is recommended when the body mass index is over 25. Historically, prescription weight loss medications were considered appropriate to prescribe when the body mass index was over 30, but it is probably appropriate to consider them as part of a medically supervised treatment when the body mass index is over 27.
For everyone, male or female, tall or short, the data tells us that keeping the BMI under 25 is the healthiest. Getting there takes hard work and knowledge and the right tools. Staying there takes all that, and the determination to keep and maintain long term healthy habits.