Busting Diet & Weight Loss Myths At A New Weigh

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What is BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for people. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat and can be considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

How is BMI used?

BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI. However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

BMI Calculator

Your BMI (Body Mass Indicator) is an objective scientific measure, that uses your height and weight to determine approximate body fat.


BMI Calculator


BMI below 20: you have a low amount of body fat. If you are an athlete, this can be desirable. If you are not an athlete, a lean BMI can indicate that your weight may be too low which may lower your immunity. If your BMI and body weight are low, you should consider gaining weight through good diet and exercise habits, to increase your muscle mass.

BMI between 20 and 22: this indicates the ideal, healthy amount of body fat, which is associated with living longest, and the lowest incidence of serious illness. Coincidentally, it seems this ratio is what many individuals perceive to be the most aesthetically attractive.

BMI between 22 and 25: this is still considered an acceptable range, and is associated with good health, although you may benefit from losing a few extra pounds.

BMI between 25 and 30: you are slightly overweight and should lower your weight. You are at increased risk for a variety of illnesses at your present weight.

BMI over 30: This indicates an unhealthy condition, your excess weight is putting you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease and some cancers.


Use this chart below to see whether your weight puts you at increased risk for health problems. Find your BMI in the left-hand column. Then, locate your waist size in one of the top columns. The box where the two meet shows you level of risk.

Weighing Your Risk
Body Mass Index (BMI)   Waist less than or equal to 40 in (men) 35 in (women) Waist greater than 40 in (men) 35 in (women)
18.5 or less
18.5 - 24.9
25.0 - 29.9
30.0 - 34.9
Very High
35.0 - 39.9
Very High
Very High
40 or greater
Extremely Obese
Extremely High
Extremely High