The body mass index
(BMI) is a new term to most people. However,
it is now the measurement of choice for many
physicians and researchers studying obesity.
The BMI uses a mathematical formula that accounts
for both a person's weight and height. The BMI
equals a person's weight in kilograms divided by
height in meters squared (BMI=kg/m2).
The BMI measurement however,
poses some of the same problems as the
weight-for-height tables. Not everyone agrees on
the cutoff points for "healthy"
versus "unhealthy"
BMI ranges. BMI also does not provide information
on a person's percentage of body fat. However,
like the weight-for-height table, BMI is a useful
general guideline and is a good estimator of body
fat for most adults between the ages of 19 and 70
years of age. However, it may not be an accurate
measurement of body fat for body builders, certain
athletes, and pregnant women.
It is important to understand what
"healthy weight"
means. Healthy weight is defined as a body mass
index (BMI) equal to or greater than 19 and less
than 25 among all people aged 20 or over.
Generally, obesity is defined as a body mass index
(BMI) equal to or greater than 30, which
approximates 30 pounds of excess weight. Excess
weight also places people at risk of developing
serious health problems.
The table below has already done the math and
metric conversions. To use the table, find the
appropriate height in the left-hand column. Move
across the row to the given weight. The number at
the top of the column is the BMI for that height
and weight. |