What Your BMI is Trying to Tell You

What Your BMI is Trying to Tell You - Large

Is 170 pounds a good weight? Is 125? Depends on how tall you are.

Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of your height to your weight. Knowing your BMI number is an excellent way of finding whether you are at a healthy weight. The higher or lower your BMI from the norm, the greater your risk for weight-related health problems.

  • If you are overweight or obese, you are at higher risk for serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems and certain cancers.
  • It turns out you can be too thin. Women who are underweight risk serious health problems, too. They include anemia and nutrient deficiencies, bone loss and osteoporosis, heart irregularities, blood vessel diseases, loss of periods and delayed wound healing. Also, being underweight before you get pregnant raises your risk for a low-birth-weight infant, fetal growth problems, perinatal mortality and other pregnancy complications.

Caution: Mind your muscle! if you carry more or less muscle than the average woman, your BMI is not the best way to decide whether you need to lose or gain weight.

Find your BMI

You can figure your own BMI with a little math:What Your BMI is Trying to Tell You - In Content  

  • Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
  • Divide that answer by your height in inches.
  • Divide that answer by your height in inches again.

Or let our calculator do the work for you.

It turns out You can be too thin.

Once you have your BMI number, check where your number lands you.

  • Below 18.5: underweight
  • 18.5 to 24.9: healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9: overweight
  • 30 and over: obese
  • 40 and over: severe obesity
  • 50 and over: super obesity

If you find yourself in a risky category, it’s never too late to take steps to get to a healthier weight. Consider talking to your doctor or health care provider about changes you can make. The formula is easy enough, but you may need a helping hand to adopt a healthy diet, add physical activity, and balance the number of calories you take in with the number of calories you burn.