All You Need To Know About BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI), a commonly utilized health assessment tool embraced by healthcare practitioners worldwide, plays a pivotal role in evaluating an individual’s weight status and the potential health implications tied to it. To grasp the full scope of this enduring health metric, it is imperative to delve into its definition, precision, and the methodology behind its computation.

BMI is a numerical parameter derived from a person’s weight and height measurements. It serves as an indicator of whether an individual’s weight aligns with established health standards relative to their height. Through the calculation of BMI, healthcare professionals can gauge the likelihood of various weight-related health conditions, including both obesity and underweight.

The accuracy of BMI as a health measure has sparked ongoing debates. While it serves as a valuable screening tool for assessing weight status on a population scale, its comprehensiveness in evaluating an individual’s health is subject to scrutiny. This limitation arises from its sole reliance on weight and height, ignoring critical factors such as muscle mass, body composition, and overall well-being, which should be taken into account for a thorough assessment.

To compute BMI, a straightforward formula is employed: dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. Alternatively, online BMI calculators are readily available for ease of use.

In this comprehensive guide, our mission is to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of BMI. By delving into its purpose, accuracy, and calculation methodology, you will gain valuable insights into its application and the inherent limitations when it comes to evaluating weight status and the associated health risks. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the realm of BMI and its significance as a health metric.

What is BMI?

Body Mass Index is a measurement of your body size based on a ratio of your height and weight. It is a basic formula that has been used since the mid-19 century to estimate body fat levels and related health risks. It is also one of the few affordable methods available to measure the health of individuals and large groups.

But it should be noted that BMI does not take into account body composition, such as muscle, bone density, and fat. Besides, sex and other factors which affect your weight might result in an inaccurate reading. As such a BMI calculation is not a correct measure for some including, children and young people under 18, athletes, and pregnant women.


How to calculate BMI?

Calculating BMI is to measure a person’s height and body weight.

Imperial units

  • To calculate BMI in imperial units, you should use the following method: BMI = lbs x 703/in2.
  • In other words, multiply your weight in pounds (lbs) by 703. Then divide by your height in inches, squared (in2).

Metric units

  • When using metric units, the formula is: BMI = kg/m2
  • In other words, divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by the square of your height in meters (m2)

Or if you do not want to use math, it is easy to figure out your BMI by using a free BMI calculator online. Click here to find your BMI now. Then follow the chart below to determine whether or not you are healthy.

BMI Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Healthy weight
25.0 – 29.9  Overweight
Over 30.0 Obese

How does your BMI affect your health?

When it comes to the relationship between your BMI and health risks, the results of some studies are mixed. But what we know for sure is that BMI corresponds with obesity-related issues.

For instance, a higher BMI is related to an increased risk of:

  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease

An above-than-normal body weight often includes extra fat on the body, which might lead to the malfunction of the body systems. Too much fat cells also causes an overproduction of hormones, blood glucose, stress on organs and bones, and plaque in the arteries. 

Pros and cons of using BMI


BMI is a general measure of obesity that might work for most people. By looking at changes in BMI level, medical professionals can get a good idea of how rates of overweight and obesity vary over time for most people or between populations. It is not too expensive like body fat measurements, so professionals can afford to look at larger groups and then pick out trends in a larger part of the population.

BMI might help your doctor judge your general risk of obesity-related disease, though BMI is best used in association with other measurements to get an exclusive look at your health.


BMI does not take into account where that weight comes from, such as fat or lean tissue. As a result, you might have a normal “healthy weight” but still face health risks due to extra body fat. For instance, extra abdominal fat that increases your waistline to larger than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women might lead to obesity-related issues.

If BMI underestimates the risk for those with normal weight yet high body fat, it might overestimate the risk for healthy and muscular people.

Also, BMI does not distinguish between the type of fat you have. For instance, subcutaneous fat, the fat under your skin, might affect the way you look. Meanwhile, visceral fat, the hidden fat in your abdomen, might pose health risks.


What to consider to maintain the proper BMI?

If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you should keep maintaining your lifestyle as usual. But if your BMI is less than 18.5 or over 25, you need to take care of some adjustments.

BMI of less than 18.5

This number indicates that you are underweight. Being underweight might cause health issues, like weak immune health.

  • Eat healthy, not junk: Underweight people are often advised to increase their intake of foods. But increasing the intake does not mean that you can consume junk food. Make sure you eat healthy and nutritious foods or visit a nutritionist to get a proper diet plan.
  • Exercise: Exercise is not for losing weight. Doing exercises regularly helps build strength and stamina, build some muscle, and stay fit. Do not only concentrate on consuming more and more fat because it does more damage than it might do good.
  • Get enough sleep: Sleep is critical because it allows your body and mind to refresh and recharge. Healthy sleep also prevents your body from getting any disease. Importantly, deep sleep helps release more growth hormones needed for growth and development.

BMI of over 25

Being overweight can be stressful, especially when people are haunted by being thin. If your BMI is over 25, you might be advised to lose some weight for health reasons.

  • Make healthy lifestyle changes: Start choosing organic products and reduce the amount of processed food. It might be hard at first, yet totally worth it. Also, incorporate fruits and veggies into daily meals and remember to count the calories that you consume. Exercising is a must, and you need to do it regularly.
  • Get enough sleep: Poor sleep or chronic lack of sleep might increase the risk for poor health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Control stress well: Not all stress is bad but chronic stress affects strain on your body, which might increase health risks as well as mental disorders. Get regular exercise, find emotional support through family and friends, or have an open conversation with your healthcare expert to manage stress.

To sum up

Knowing your BMI can help your doctor better understand what options are good and available to your health. But you should use it with caution because it does not relate to other factors such as body composition and activity levels.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Supplement Choices - The trusted expert on your health & wellness journey