Do you know your BMI, or Body Mass Index? Your BMI is a measure of the ratio of your height and weight, and gives you a guideline for if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
What is BMI?
BMI is a quick and easy way of estimating the amount of fat in a person’s body. It is not a diagnostic tool, but since higher BMI is correlated with greater risk for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, knowing your BMI can help keep you healthier. If your BMI is in the overweight or obese range, you can talk with your primary care provider or with the Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute about options for moving it into a healthier range.
BMI was calculated originally using the metric system: weight in kilograms / height in meters, squared = your BMI. Since the US uses the Imperial system, more is added to the formula. To simplify, use this online calculator to easily determine your BMI.
After you calculate your BMI, you need to know how it stacks up.
Underweight is defined as a BMI of below 18.5.
Normal weight is defined as a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9.
Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0 – 29.9
Obese is defined as a BMI of 30.0 and above.
If you’re underweight, talk with your doctor about getting to a healthy weight. If you’re a normal weight, great! Follow the tips on our blog to maintain your weight. If you’re overweight or obese, talk with your doctor about what weight loss program is right for you. To schedule an appointment with a primary care physician at our Family Health & Wellness Center, please call 410-362-3612.
Note: All information in this blog is regarding BMI in adults. BMI for children has different scales, and the above information should not be used to refer to children.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)