HomeSports 2.0What is BMI? - Body Mass Index. how to calculate? check yours

What is BMI? – Body Mass Index. how to calculate? check yours

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Body Mass Index: A way to judge your Health

BMI Meaning

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What is BMI? It stands for the Body Mass Index of an individual. It is a popular and efficient way to categorize people of different weights appropriately. 

The Body Mass Index value is derived from the mass (weight) and height of that person. The Body Mass Index is given by body mass divided by height squared. It’s usually expressed in kilograms per meter square (kg/m²). Here, kilograms is the unit for weight and meters is the unit for height.

BMI Normal Range

BMI over 25 and below 20 are often associated with low health and fitness. The best BMI range is considered between 20-25. However, it has been observed that the ideal range varies with race. It was observed that a BMI which might be nice for Europeans is unhealthy for Asians.

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It has to be noted that the Body Mass Index has several limitations too. When applied to people with short stature, abdominal obesity, or very high muscle mass, the Body Mass Index is less useful.

History of BMI

What is BMI- Kreedon
Image source:- Britannica

The Body Mass Index system was derived by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. Quetelet was a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, sociologist, and statistician. He devised the system in the 1830s to estimate the physical health and well-being of a person.

The system was derived from a very basic formula where the weight of a person in kilograms was to be divided by the square of their height measured in meters.

Quetelet originally referred to his ideas as “Social Physics”. Later, Ancel Keys published a paper in the 1972 July edition of the ‘Journal of Chronic Diseases, where he gave it the term ‘Body Mass Index”.

Keys had suggested in the paper that while BMI was good appropriate for population studies, it was not good for evaluating individuals on their own. However, due to its constant increase in popularity and simplicity, it is being used for preliminary diagnoses.

How BMI is calculated

The formula to calculate the Body Mass Index of a person is simple. The person only needs to know his body weight and height. The formula to calculate the body mass index of a person is by dividing the mass of the person in kg by the square of the height of the person in meters.

BMI Calcultor = Body Mass (Kg) / Height² (Meters)

If the person is using pounds and inches to calculate the body mass index then a conversion factor of 703 must be applied.

BMI Formula = Body Mass (pounds) / Height² (inches) × 703


Image source:- ACTIVE

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is used to categorize people based on how much their weight varies from the average healthy expected weight.

Muscularity or body fat affects the readings of an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI) significantly. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a BMI of less than18.5 to be underweight and malnourished whereas BMI over 25 is considered overweight. Having a body mass index above 30 means a person suggests really bad eating and exercise habits and the person is considered to be suffering from obesity.

Another important figure related to the BMI or body mass index is the BMI prime. BMI prime refers to the ratio of the Body Mass Index (BMI) to the upper limit of healthy weight. Generally, a BMI score between 0.74-1.00 is considered healthy.

BMI Index

CategoryBody Mass Index (BMI)BMI prime
Underweight< 18.5< 0.74
Healthy Weight (Normal)18.5 – 24.90.74 – 0.99
Overweight25.0 – 29.91.00 – 1.99
Obese> 29.9> 1.99

BMI (Body Mass Index) Chart 

One of the most common complaints regarding the BMI system is that it doesn’t account for differences in various bodies. It uses the same method and formula for everyone.

The Body Mass Index of a person does not take into account factors such as-

  • The measurements of waist or hips
  • The distribution or proportion of fat
  • The proportion of Muscle Mass

Body Mass Index Weight and Height Guide Chart

As clear by the definition of the Body Mass Index, it highly depends on the variance of a person’s weight with his height. 

A chart to display how the weight and height relate to each other according to BMI is given below.

HeightNormal WeightOverweightObesitySevere Obesity
4ft 10″ (58″)91-115 lbs119 – 138 lbs143 – 186 lbs191 – 258 lbs
4ft 11″ (59″)94 – 119 lbs124 – 143 lbs148 – 193 lbs198 – 267 lbs
5ft (60″)97 – 123 lbs128 – 148 lbs153 – 199 lbs204 – 276 lbs
5ft 1″ (61″)100 – 127 lbs132 – 153 lbs158 – 206 lbs211 – 285 lbs
5ft 2″ (62″)104 – 131 lbs136 – 158 lbs164 – 213 lbs218 – 295 lbs
5ft 3″ (63″)107 – 135 lbs141 – 163 lbs169 – 220 lbs225 – 304 lbs
5ft 4″ (64″)110 – 140 lbs145 – 169 lbs174 – 227 lbs232 – 314 lbs
5ft 5″ (65″)114 – 144 lbs150 – 174 lbs180 – 234 lbs240 – 324 lbs
5ft 6″ (66″)118 – 148 lbs155 – 179 lbs186 – 241 lbs247 – 334 lbs
5ft 7″ (67″)121- 153 lbs159 – 185 lbs191 – 249 lbs255 – 344 lbs
5ft 8″ (68″)125 – 158 lbs164 – 190 lbs197 – 256 lbs262 – 354 lbs
5ft 9″ (69″)128 – 162 lbs169 – 196 lbs203 – 263 lbs270 – 365 lbs
5ft 10″ (70″)132 – 167 lbs174 – 202 lbs209 – 271 lbs278 – 376 lbs
5ft 11″ (71″)136 – 172 lbs179 – 208 lbs215 – 279 lbs286 – 386 lbs
6ft (72″)140 – 177 lbs184 – 213 lbs221 – 287 lbs294 – 397 lbs
6ft 1″ (73″)144 – 182 lbs189 – 219 lbs227 – 295 lbs302 – 408 lbs
6ft 2″ (74″)148 – 186 lbs194 – 225 lbs233 – 303 lbs311 – 420 lbs
6ft 3″ (75″)152 – 192 lbs200 – 232 lbs240 – 311 lbs319 – 431 lbs
6ft 4″ (76″)156 – 197 lbs205 – 238 lbs246 – 320 lbs328 – 443 lbs


BMI 19 – 2425 – 2930 – 3940 – 54

Results of Higher BMI in Adults

Having an unhealthy BMI value can indicate many physical problems. A person with a very high BMI usually suffers from Obesity and obesity can lead to many other diseases, such as:-

  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Infertility
  • Colon Cancer 

And many more, including at least 10 different kinds of Cancer. 

Another thing to note is that for people who don’t smoke, Obesity has a 51% increase in Mortality as compared to normal-weight people.


Body Mass Index has its limitations in use as we briefly discussed before.

Some issues associated with BMI are-

  • The scaling and formula seem arbitrary and have problems.
  • Assumptions made by the system regarding Muscle and Fat mass are not accurate.
  • The Categories seem to vary.

The Body Mass Index, despite its limitations, remains one of the most useful measurement systems today.

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