BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a rough estimate of the shape of a human body. It only uses two parameters – height (in centimeters) and weight (in kilograms) – and is therefore far from accurate in determining if a person is overweight or underweight. But it does give a fair estimate, so it is still widely used.
The equation for calculating BMI for adults looks like this:
For British and American people that hasn’t adopted the metric system, the equation looks a little different:
With a BMI of over 25, you are considered overweight by the World Health Organization. And with a BMI under 18.5, you are underweight. Remember though that the equation does not take into account if you have a lot of muscles and/or a lot of fat on your body. The result can therefore be misleading for athletic individuals. But for normally built persons, BMI is a pretty good measure for their weight status.
Here’s the complete list of BMI ranges:
|Very severly underweight||<15|
|Severly underweight||15 – 16|
|Underweight||16 – 18.5|
|Normal||18.5 – 25|
|Overweight||25 – 30|
|Moderately obese||30 – 35|
|Severly obese||35 – 40|
|Very severly obese||>40|
You can use this calculator to find out what your BMI is: