What is body mass index?
- Determining how much you should weigh is not a simple matter of looking at a height-weight chart, but includes considering the amount of bone, muscle and fat in your body’s composition
- The amount of fat is the critical measurement
- A good indicator of how much fat you carry is the body mass index (BMI)
- Although it is not a perfect measure, it gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat
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- You can look great and be healthy in a wide range of weights, but it is important to note that being underweight is associated with poor health outcomes and higher mortality for some conditions, as is being far above the healthy BMI range
- If your weight is above that of the ideal for your height on the charts, it is tempting to think that it is because you are lean but very muscular
- This may be true in some cases, but most people usually weigh more because they have more body fat
- Very muscular people may have a higher body mass index while still having low body fat
- Meanwhile, people who have lost muscle mass and replaced it with fat may appear to have a normal BMI when they actually have too much body fat and not enough muscle for good health outcomes
Adults can use the charts below to find the traditional ideal weight for your height and at a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI):
|Height in Feet & Inches||Small Frame||Medium Frame||Large Frame|
How can I tell if I’m Overweight?
- A BMI of less than 18.5 means that a person is underweight
- A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal
- A BMI of between 25 and 29.9 is overweight
- A BMI over 30 indicates obesity
Note that these are approximate values, and they are intended to be used only as a rough guide.