BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI is an indicator of the amount of body fat for most people. It can be used by a screening tool to identify whether an adult is at a healthy weight. It is not always accurate. A body can weigh more if it is more muscular, for example. Please use caution if you are using a BMI in deciding if you are unhealthy.

  • BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is a numerical value of your weight in relation to your height. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 kg/m² indicates a normal weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m² is considered underweight. A BMI between 25 kg/m² and 29.9 kg/m² is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 kg/m² or higher is considered obese.

  • Excess weight increases the heart’s work. It also raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It can make diabetes more likely to develop, too. Lifestyle changes that help you maintain a 3-5% weight loss are likely to result in clinically meaningful improvements in blood glucose, triglycerides, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Greater weight loss can even help reduce BP and improve blood cholesterol.

  • To calculate your BMI: Type your height and weight into the calculator. Select a status option if you’re under 20 years old, highly trained/athletic, pregnant or breastfeeding. If one of these situations applies to you, the BMI may not be the best method of assessing your risk from overweight or obesity.

  • It’s important to note that a BMI is not the only indicator of health. Many people can have a high BMI and still be very healthy. It is vital that you take into account your fitness level, your diet, your cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure as well as discuss your numbers with your primary care physician to determine your overall health level.