What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Body Mass Index (BMI) by definition is a scale that measures the amount of body fat you have based on your height and weight. It is used to determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
How to Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)
The formula to calculate body mass index is weight (in kg) / (height (in meters))^2 or weight (in lb) / (height (in inches))^2. To make it easier for you we’ve published a BMI chart for women and a BMI chart for men.
How Accurate is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Body Mass Index is no longer considered a valuable indicator of a person’s health because it is limited by two measurements, height and weight, and does not distinguish between the composition of that weight (fat versus muscle).
As we’ve discussed in The Easy Diet, the distinction between body weight and body fat is an important one. It is entirely possible that a two people who are the same height and weight and have the same body mass index, have completely different body compositions – a 5’10” athlete who weighs 150 lb and has only 10% body fat will have the same body mass index as a 5’10” overweight person who weighs 150 lb and has 35% body fat.
This is why we prefer to measure body fat percentage ranges instead of body mass index ranges.