What, Exactly, is BMI? – Tufts

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight adjusted for height. It is considered a better indicator of excess weight than body weight alone and is used to categorize individuals as “underweight,” “normal weight,” “overweight,” or “obese.” What does it really tell us, and how accurate is it?

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Measuring Body Fat: Being overweight or obese is associated with a wide range of chronic and acute health conditions, so determining how much excess body fat a person is carrying is an important factor in caring for their overall health. There are many ways to determine how much body fat an individual has, including skinfold thicknesses, bioelectrical impedance, underwater weighing, and dual energy x-ray absorption. These measures can be expensive, intrusive, not widely available, or technically demanding. Calculating BMI provides a quick, easy, inexpensive surrogate measure of body fatness. Studies have shown BMI correlates well with results of more complex methods for assessing body fatness and with future health risks.

To calculate BMI, body weight (in kilograms) is divided by height (in meters) squared. In English measures, weight (in pounds) is divided by height (in inches) squared, then multiplied by 703. A link to an easy-to-use online BMI calculator is provided in Resources, below.

Check out my post https://guysandgoodhealth.com/2020/03/19/bmi-not-the-best-indicator/ to read further on BMI.

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