Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height, and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 and over. For children aged 2 and over, BMI percentile is the best assessment of body fat.
BMI does not measure body fat directly. However, research indicates that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat such as underwater weighing and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and is considered an inexpensive and easy-to-perform alternative for these.
Your BMI is based on your height and weight. It’s one way to see if you’re at a healthy weight.
Underweight: Your BMI is less than 18.5
Healthy weight: Your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: Your BMI is 25 to 29.9
Obese: Your BMI is 30 or higher
The chart below shows examples of body mass indexes. The figure at which your height corresponds with your weight is your body mass index. To find yours, consult the chart, or use WebMD’s BMI calculator.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
|Height (feet, inches)|