How to Calculate Your BMI on Your Own: Determine if You Are Overweight

Body mass index, or BMI, is an important measure of health that every adult should know. This indicator helps to determine if a person is overweight. Everyone can calculate their BMI on their own – no complicated calculations are needed.

What is BMI and what it measures

BMI determines a person’s optimal height-to-weight ratio, which is considered a healthy norm. A BMI that is too high indicates that you are overweight, while a BMI below the norm indicates that you are underweight.

It is worth remembering that BMI is not always accurate. For example, athletes are overweight because they are muscular, and they can be slim even with a high BMI. And some people with a normal BMI may be overweight because their fat partially replaces their muscles.

Not only does BMI set the standard for weight, but it is also an indicator of health. A high BMI is associated with an increased risk of cancer and shorter life expectancy.

How to calculate your BMI

For adults (over the age of 18), BMI is calculated using a simple formula:

BMI = body weight in kilograms/height in meters²

For example, for a person who is 170 cm tall and weighs 65 kg, the BMI is calculated as follows:

65 / (1,7 * 1,7) = 22.49

What do BMI results mean?

BMI norm differs from the sex and age of the person – women should have a lower figure. Experts and physicians often argue about what BMI should be considered the norm. The World Health Organization names such norms:

  • 16 or less – underweight;
  • 16-18.5 – underweight;
  • 18.5-25 – normal weight;
  • 25-30 – overweight or obese;
  • 30 and over – obesity.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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