BMI is an estimation of body fat based on height and weight. According to guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a normal BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. Check your BMI with this BMI CALCULATOR
BMI is not the only indicator of health risk.
BMI is just one of many factors related to developing a chronic disease (such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes). Other factors that may be important to consider when assessing your likelihood of being at risk regarding certain chronic diseases include:
- Physical Activity
- Waist Circumference
- Blood Pressure
- Blood Sugar Level
- Cholesterol Level.
Family History of Disease
All persons who are obese or overweight should try not to gain additional weight. In addition, those who are obese or who are overweight with other risk factors should consider losing weight. A complete health assessment by a physician is the best way to decide the right steps for you.
Whatever your BMI
, talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk for disease and if you should lose weight. Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help to lower the risk of disease.
Physical activity and good nutrition are key factors in leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing risk for disease.
Myth: BMI Measures Body Fat
BMI is only one piece of a person's health profile. It is important to talk with your doctor about other measures and risk factors. (e.g., waist circumference, smoking, physical activity level, and diet.)
Myth: BMI is a diagnostic tool
BMI alone is not diagnostic i.e. it does not identify a particular disease. It is one of many risk factors for disease and death. As a person's BMI increases the risk for many diseases increases as well.
Two people can have the same BMI, but a different percentage of body fat. A bodybuilder with a large muscle mass and a low percentage body fat may have the same BMI as a person who has more body fat because BMI is calculated using weight and height only.