The body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet index is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of an individual.
A BMI measurement lets you know if an individual has the correct weight for their height.
- Enter your weight and height using standard or metric measures.
- Press “Compute BMI” and your BMI will appear below.
- Obesity = BMI of 30 or higher
- Overweight = 25–29.9
- Healthy weight = 18.5–24.9
- Underweight = <18.5
BMI intends to measure tissue mass based on a person’s height and weight. The calculation is used to determine:
- whether a person is underweight
- whether a person has normal weight
- if a person is overweight
- if a person is obese
BMI has limitations and should be thought of as an estimate and general indicator of healthy body weight as it doesn’t take overall body composition into account. Due to a wide variety of body types and distribution of fat, bone mass, and muscle, BMI can be used with other calculations and not as a sole method to determine if a person is “healthy”.
Being Overweight or Obese
When you have more body fat than is considered normal, you can be overweight. If you have significantly more body fat than is normal, you are obese. When you run into the obese category, your risk of health problems goes up even more than if you’re overweight. Body mass index (BMI) is a useful measure of excessive weight and obesity.
Why Healthy Weight is Seen as Important
You want to maintain healthy weight because it reduces the risk of diseases and conditions in which extra weight can play a role. If you are overweight or obese, you are at a higher risk of certain cancers, gallstones, breathing problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. When you have a healthy weight, you have more energy to enjoy life and generally feel better about yourself.
What Contributes to Healthy Weight?
There are many things which contribute to healthy weight. They can be metabolism, genetics, your environment, family history, habits, behavior, and how your body processes food.
How to Reach Healthy Weight
You can reach and maintain healthy weight if you:
- follow a healthy diet, and if you are overweight or obese, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories for weight loss
- are physically active
- limit the time you spend being physically inactive
If you want to maintain healthy weight, you need a proper energy balance. This means that you need to burn a certain number of calories through physical activity or eat less to maintain healthy weight. The amount of energy you get from food and drink is your energy in and what you use for digestion, breathing, and being physically active is the energy out.
- The same amount of energy in and out means that you stay at the same weight and have an energy balance
- If you have more energy in and less out, you will gain weight
- If you have more energy out and less in, you will lose weight.
- If you can balance your energy over time, you will maintain healthy weight.