Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Body Mass Index (BMI) - Topic Overview

Your body mass index (BMI) camera.gif and waist size camera.gif affect your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The following table shows the risk.

Body mass index (BMI) and the risk for diseases1
Classification BMI Waist size and relative risk

Men: less than 40 in. (102 cm)

Women: less than 35 in. (88 cm)

Men: 40 in. (102 cm) or more

Women: 35 in. (88 cm) or more

Normal18.5–24.9Increased risk
Overweight25–29.9Increased riskHigh risk
Obesity I30–34.9High riskVery high risk
Obesity II35–39.9Very high riskVery high risk
Obesity III (extreme)40 or aboveExtremely high riskExtremely high risk

For Asian people, each risk category may include lower BMIs than those listed in the table.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including obesity screening and nutrition counseling, at no cost to you. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

A BMI under 18.5 is considered unhealthy. There is risk that you are not getting sufficient nutrition (malnutrition). Complications of malnutrition include anemia, nutrient deficiency, heart irregularities, loss of menstrual periods in women (amenorrhea), cavities, and osteoporosis.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 19, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens