What is body mass index?
Simply put, the body mass index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. A high BMI can indicate a high body-fat ratio.
For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range.
To get this number, a person’s weight in pounds is divided by the square of height in feet.
Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy. Use our Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator below for help.
Accuracy of BMI
BMI takes into account natural variations in body shape, giving a healthy weight range for a particular height.
As well as measuring your BMI, doctors may take other factors into account when assessing if you’re a healthy weight.
For example, muscle is much denser than fat, so very muscular people, such as heavyweight boxers, weight trainers and athletes, may still be a healthy weight even though their BMI is classed as obese.
It’s important to note that your ethnic group can also affect your risk of some health conditions. For example, adults of South Asian origin may have a higher risk of some health problems, such as diabetes, with a BMI of 23, which is usually considered healthy.
Concerned about your BMI?
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