The Truth Behind Your BMI

The Truth Behind Your BMI

What does BMI stand for?

Body Mass Index (BMI)

What is BMI a measure of?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

How to calculate your BMI:

Using pounds and inches, divide your weight by your height squared, and then multiply by the conversion factor of 703.  For example, an individual who weighs 135 pounds and is 5 foot, 6 inches (66 inches) tall would have a BMI of 21.79:  135/(66 x 66, or 4,356) x 703 = 21.79.

What is the BMI scale?

Below 18.5         Underweight

18.5 to 24.9       Normal Weight

25 to 29.9          Overweight

30 or higher        Obese

How is measuring BMI helpful?

Measuring BMI is inexpensive, easy to perform, and it shows weight categories that may lead to health problems.  

How accurate is BMI?

BMI does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. Additionally, BMI does not distinguish between lean body mass and fat mass.  For example, a muscular athlete may have a high BMI even though he/she does not have a high percentage of body fat. On the other hand, elderly people may appear to have a normal BMI, yet they usually have less muscle and more body fat.  Overall, at the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.

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