Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) by the square of their height in meters (m).
The following formula is used to calculate BMI:
BMI = weight (kg) / height^2 (m^2)
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be a healthy weight. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30.0 or higher is considered obese.
BMI is a simple and inexpensive way to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. It can be used by people of all ages and genders.
- BMI was developed in the late 1800s by a Belgian statistician named Adolphe Quetelet.
- BMI is used in over 100 countries around the world.
- BMI is not a perfect measure of body fatness. It does not take into account muscle mass or body composition.
- BMI is most accurate for adults between the ages of 20 and 65.
- Clinical Assessment of Nutritional Status by Robert J. Fanelli (2012)
- Obesity and the Body Mass Index: Or Why We Are Still Measuring Abdominal Obesity by Kelly Brownell and Joann E. Manson (2005)
- Body Mass Index and Mortality by Katherine M. Flegal, MD, MPH, and Barry M. Popkin, PhD (2001)
The following table shows some examples of BMI calculations:
|Weight (kg)||Height (m)||BMI|
BMI can be used by individuals, healthcare professionals, and public health officials.
- Individuals: Individuals can use BMI to track their weight over time and to assess their risk of developing weight-related health problems.
- Healthcare professionals: Healthcare professionals can use BMI to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems and to develop treatment plans for obese patients.
- Public health officials: Public health officials can use BMI to track the prevalence of obesity in a population and to develop public health interventions to promote healthy weight.
BMI is a simple and inexpensive tool that can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. It is important to note that BMI is not a perfect measure of body fatness and that other factors, such as muscle mass and body composition, should also be considered when assessing a person’s health.
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