Body Mass Index

With different body types and compositions, there is no “right” weight for everyone. A body mass index, or BMI, is a formula that doctors use to determine a person’s body fat based on his or her weight and height. The BMI number is plotted on a chart, which shows a person whether they are underweight, average weight, at risk of becoming overweight, or overweight.

You can combine your BMI with your waist circumference to get an idea of whether or not you are overweight. You can determine your waist circumference by placing a measuring tape snugly around your waist. Your waist circumference is an indicator of your abdominal fat, another predictor of obesity, a risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease.

Position the tape measure mid-way between the top of your hipbone and the bottom of the rib cage. When taking the measurement, the abdomen should be relaxed and you should be exhaling.

For women, the waist circumference should be 35 inches and under; for men, it should be less than 40 inches.

Even a slight weight loss can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, lipid disorders, stroke risks and type 2 diabetes associated with cardiovascular disease.

A BMI less than 18.5 is considered underweight.
A BMI between 18.6 and 24.9 is considered healthy.
A BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
A BMI greater than 30.0 is considered obese.

Sample Calculation:

To calculate your height in inches, multiply your height in feet by 12 and add your inches.
5’ 2” = 5 x 12 +2 = 62 inches

To square your height, multiple your height in inches by itself.
62 inches x 62 inches = 3844

Then divide your weight in pounds by the square of your height. You’ll probably get a long number, so just round it off to the fifth decimal place.
140 lbs. ÷ 3844 = 0.03642

Multiple your answer by 703.
0.03642 x 703 = 25.6

25.6 is your BMI.