Body Mass Index

What is the body mass index (BMI)?

The body mass index is a method used to measure a person’s percentage of body fat. Weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).

In studies by the National Center for Health Statistics, overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25.0–29.9 (based on U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans). A BMI of approximately 25 kg/m2 corresponds to about 110 percent of ideal body weight.

Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30.0 or greater (based on criteria of the World Health Organization).

How do you find your body mass index?

1. Use a weight scale on a hard,flat, uncarpeted surface. Wear very little clothing and no shoes.

2. Obtain your weight to the nearest pound and write it down.

3. With your eyes facing forward and your heels together, stand very straight against a wall. Your buttocks, shoulders and the back of your head should be touching the wall.

4. Use a ruler held at a right angle to the wall to mark your height at the highest point of your head. Then use a yardstick held flat against the wall to measure from the floor to the point you marked with the ruler. Write down your height in inches to the nearest inch.

5. Find your height in inches along the top of the Body Mass Index Table. Find your weight in pounds along the left side of the table. Then find the number on the chart where the two values meet. This is your body mass index.  

Body Mass Index Table (for adults only)

Height (inches)

Weight
(pounds)
60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80
100 20 18 17 16 15 14 14 13 12 12 11
105 21 19 18 17 16 15 14 14 13 12 12
110 22 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 13 12
115 23 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 13
120 23 22 21 19 18 17 16 15 14 14 13
125 24 23 22 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 14
130 25 24 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14
135 26 25 23 22 21 19 18 17 16 16 15
140 27 26 24 23 21 20 19 18 17 16 15
145 28 27 25 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
150 29 27 26 24 23 22 20 19 18 17 17
155 30 28 27 25 24 22 21 20 19 18 17
160 31 29 28 26 24 23 22 21 20 19 18
165 32 30 28 27 25 24 22 21 20 19 18
170 33 31 29 27 26 24 23 22 21 20 19
175 34 32 30 28 27 25 24 23 21 20 19
180 35 33 31 29 27 26 24 23 22 21 20
185 36 34 32 30 28 27 25 24 23 21 20
190 37 35 33 31 29 27 26 24 23 22 21
195 38 36 34 32 30 28 27 25 24 23 21
200 39 37 34 32 30 29 27 26 24 23 22
205 40 38 35 33 31 29 28 26 25 24 23
210 41 38 36 34 32 30 29 27 26 24 23
215 42 39 37 35 33 31 29 28 26 25 24
220 43 40 38 36 34 32 30 28 27 25 24
225 44 41 39 36 34 32 30 29 27 26 25
230 45 42 40 37 35 33 31 30 28 27 25
235 46 43 40 38 36 34 32 30 29 27 26
240 47 44 41 39 37 35 33 31 29 28 26
245 48 45 42 40 37 35 33 32 30 28 27
250 49 46 43 40 38 36 34 32 30 29 28
255 50 47 44 41 39 37 35 33 31 30 28
260 51 48 45 42 40 37 35 33 32 30 29
265 52 49 46 43 40 38 36 34 32 31 29
270 53 49 46 44 41 39 37 35 33 31 30
275 54 50 47 44 42 40 37 35 34 32 30
280 55 51 48 45 43 40 38 36 34 32 31
285 56 52 49 46 43 41 39 37 35 33 31
290 57 53 50 47 44 42 39 37 35 34 32
295 58 54 51 48 45 42 40 38 36 34 32
300 59 55 52 49 46 43 41 39 37 35 33

see also Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)

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