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What is body mass index (BMI) and how do you calculate it?

ANSWER

Body mass index, or BMI, is a way of describing height and weight in one number that can help tell if someone's weight is healthy.

To figure out your BMI, just use this math formula: Multiply your weight in pounds by 703 and divide it by your height (in inches) squared.

Obesity in adults is defined as having a BMI of 30.0 or above. The other ranges are:

  • Overweight = 25.0 to 29.9
  • Normal weight = 18.5 to 24.9
  • Underweight = under 18.5

From: What Is a Healthy Weight? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: “Healthy Weight.”

National Institutes of Health: “Aim for a Healthy Weight.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Weight Management and Obesity,” “Weight Control and Obesity FAQ.”

Mayo Clinic: “Obesity.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on April 19, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “Healthy Weight.”

National Institutes of Health: “Aim for a Healthy Weight.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Weight Management and Obesity,” “Weight Control and Obesity FAQ.”

Mayo Clinic: “Obesity.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on April 19, 2017

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Can measuring my waist help me know if I am a healthy weight?

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