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The body mass index (BMI)

The body mass index (BMI)

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)

Weight
(pounds)
Height (feet, inches)
5’0″ 5’3″ 5’6″ 5’9″ 6’0″ 6’3″
140 27 25 23 21 19 18
150 29 27 24 22 20 19
160 31 28 26 24 22 20
170 33 30 28 25 23 21
180 35 32 29 27 25 23
190 37 34 31 28 26 24
200 39 36 32 30 27 25
210 41 37 34 31 29 26
220 43 39 36 33 30 28
230 45 41 37 34 31 29
240 47 43 39 36 33 30
250 49 44 40 37 34 31

 

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