BMI Calculator

Your Height:

Feet  Inches  

Your Weight in KG:

Your BMI:

 

What is BMI?

BMI, or body mass index, is a way to find out if your body size is healthy. To calculate it, we divide your weight by your height squared. It can help predict the risk of heart attack or stroke, along with other things like blood pressure and cholesterol. Remember, though, that BMI is not the best measure of overall health. It doesn't consider important factors like age, gender, and body composition (like fat, muscle, and bone).

How is BMI calculated?

To calculate your BMI, multiply your height in meters by the square of your weight in kilograms. For example, if your weight is 60 kilograms and your height is 5 feet 3 inches (which is roughly 1.6 meters), you would calculate it as 60 / (1.6 * 1.6). This gives you a BMI of 22.9.

Understanding your BMI results

Underweight:

If you're underweight, it may indicate that you're not eating enough or that you're unwell. It's advisable to seek assistance from a doctor if you are underweight.

Optimal weight:

Great job! Keep up the good work in maintaining a healthy weight. You can seek advice on maintaining a healthy weight from the food, nutrition, and exercise sections.

Overweight:

If you're overweight, the best way to lose weight is by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise. You'll be able to reach your weight loss objectives with this.

Obese:

If you're obese, the most effective approach to losing weight involves a combination of proper nutrition, exercise, and, in some cases, medications. It's recommended to consult with a medical doctor for assistance and guidance.

Is Body Mass Index reliable?

The BMI scale compares your weight to your height to assess the risk of health issues associated with being overweight or obese, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

It's important to accurately diagnose obesity because it raises the chances of developing these illnesses. As obesity becomes more common, we're focusing on using BMI to determine an individual's healthy weight, rather than relying on community averages. 

For most people, BMI provides a good indication of weight-related health risks. Your weight is undoubtedly putting your health at risk if your BMI is higher than 35. However, in some cases, BMI between 25-35 may not accurately estimate these risks.

Risks associated with being overweight

Weight gain increases the risk of various serious diseases and health issues. Here is a list of the dangers, given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Elevated blood pressure

Weight gain can lead to higher levels of "bad cholesterol" known as LDL, lower levels of "good cholesterol" known as HDL, and increased levels of triglycerides.

Diabetes Type II

cardiovascular disease Stroke

A gallbladder condition

Gaining weight can cause a number of health issues, such as:

  • Disease: Weight gain can cause a joint condition called osteoarthritis. This disease damages the joint cartilage and can result in joint pain and stiffness.
  • Breathing and sleep issues: Extra weight can make it harder to breathe properly and may contribute to sleep problems like sleep apnea.
  • Specific cancers: Gaining weight increases the risk of certain cancers, such as endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver cancer.
  • Lower quality of life: Carrying excess weight can negatively impact a person's overall well-being, making it harder to perform physical tasks and leading to body aches and discomfort.
  • Mental health problems: Weight gain can also contribute to conditions like depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

In general, people with higher weight have a greater risk of remature death compared to those with a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Risks associated with being underweight

Being underweight can have various risks associated with it, which are explained below:

  • Vitamin deficiency, anemia, and poor nutrition
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Weakened immune response
  • Challenges in growth and development, especially in children and teenagers
  • Hormonal imbalances affecting reproductive health
  • Higher risk of mortality compared to those with a healthy BMI
  • Being underweight can be a symptom of underlying conditions like anorexia nervosa.

Limitations of the BMI

Your BMI can tell you if you have a higher weight, but it doesn't tell you if that weight is due to excess fat.

The BMI cannot differentiate between extra fat, muscle, or bone in your body. 

Additionally, the adult BMI does not consider factors like age, gender, or muscle mass.

This implies:

As people get older, they might lose muscle, but still have extra fat, even if their weight appears normal. Sometimes, very muscular adults and athletes can be labeled as "overweight" or "obese" even though they have very little body fat.

For women, pregnancy can affect their BMI result. When you gain weight during pregnancy, your BMI will increase. So, when calculating your BMI, it's better to use your weight before getting pregnant.

Who shouldn't use a BMI Calculator?

BMI calculations do not include bodybuilders, long-distance runners, pregnant women, the elderly, and small children. This is because the BMI only looks at the overall weight and doesn't consider whether it is from fat or muscle. Athletes and individuals with more muscle mass may have higher BMIs without necessarily having higher health risks. 

On the other hand, individuals with lower muscle mass, like growing children or elderly people who may be losing muscle, may have lower BMIs. It's not suitable to use BMI for women during pregnancy and nursing because their body composition changes during these periods.

When to see a doctor?

If your BMI falls outside the normal range, it is recommended to undergo regular check-ups, ideally every six months or once a year. The further your BMI deviates from the normal range of 18.5 to 25, the higher the risk you may be at. If you are significantly underweight or on the brink of obesity, it is crucial to consult a doctor immediately.

However, it's important to note that BMI alone has its limitations in determining your precise health condition. It provides a general approximation that is widely used, but it cannot replace personalized medical advice. Therefore, it is essential to seek guidance from healthcare professionals who can consider your individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is BMI?

BMI measures if your body size is healthy by dividing weight by height squared. It predicts the risk of heart attack or stroke but doesn't consider age, gender, or body composition.

Q: How to use a BMI calculator?

Enter weight and height, and click calculate. Use pounds or kilograms for weight and feet and inches for height.

Q: How is BMI calculated?

Multiply height (in meters) by weight (in kilograms) squared. Example: 60kg weight, 5'3" (1.6 meters) height = BMI 22.9.

Q: What are the risks of being underweight?

Being underweight carries risks such as vitamin deficiency, anemia, poor nutrition, increased risk of osteoporosis, weakened immune response, challenges in growth and development, hormonal imbalances, and higher mortality risk.