BMI is calculated based on a person’s height and weight. It allows you to know in which weight category you belong. In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined this body mass index as the standard for assessing the risks associated with overweight in adults. It was originally designed for adults aged 18 to 65. However, new charts are used for 0-18 year olds and people over 65. The BMI calculation is the same for women and men but the interpretation is different.

However, BMI does not differentiate between fat mass and muscle mass. It cannot therefore be used for pregnant or breastfeeding women, seniors, high-level athletes and very muscular people. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calculating body mass index is one of the best techniques for assessing obesity and overweight in the population. This index is very practical to know if you should lose weight or gain it.

BMI, a simple formula

The formula for calculating your BMI is very simple. This involves taking his weight and dividing it by his height squared. Thus, if you are 1.69 m tall and weigh 60 kilos, you must proceed as follows: 60 (kg) / 1.69² (m) = 21 kg/m²

This corresponds to a BMI of normal weight. There are seven criteria for interpreting BMI defined by the WHO:

less than 16.4 kg/m²: severe underweight, malnutrition
between 16.5 to 18.4 kg/m²: underweight, thin
between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m²: normal weight
between 25 and 29.9 kg/m²: overweight
between 30 to 34.9 kg/m²: moderate obesity
between 35 and 39.9 kg/m²: severe obesity
more than 40 kg/m²: morbid or massive obesity

It should be noted that both extremes are dangerous to health. To stay healthy, you must not forget, even if your BMI is normal, to eat a balanced diet and to practice a sports activity regularly.

What is BMI used for, how to calculate and interpret it


Maria T.
Maria T.

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