Body Mass Index (BMI) Tables

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The Body Mass Index table for adults is a quick way of figuring if your weight is within appropriate limits for your height. The BMI is actually a calculation using weight in pounds divided by height in inches in the U.S. (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters in countries using the metric system), divided by height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. This is not an end-all calculation in that it doesn’t take into account high muscularity due to athletic fitness or additional weight carried by pregnant women. The BMI is not a direct body fat measurement, but the conversion factor serves to correlate it to other direct measurements. For most people it is a good quick measure of body fat that can be used to determine weight status.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) Table makes it easy to find the BMI for your particular height and body weight. The table lists height in inches down the left hand column. The various body weights in pounds are listed across the top of the chart. You find your height and then read across the table to find your weight. At that point you can find your BMI at the top of the column.

The Body Mass Index is a calculation that estimates the amount of your body fat. The higher the BMI figure, the more fat your body has and the higher your risk of developing certain diseases. For example, people with a high BMI are at a higher risk of developing diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory illness ad some types of cancers.

In summary, a body fat below 18.5 is considered to be underweight. You will notice the table begins with a BMI of 19. A person with normal weight has a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI over 30.0 represents obesity.

If your BMI falls within the range considered overweight or obese, you should reduce it to lower your risk of developing disease. The goal is to follow a healthy diet, get plenty of strength training and cardio exercise, and slowly reduce your weight. Slow weight loss is much better than rapid weight loss and should be achieved by taking healthy measures including following a nutritionally balanced diet and exercising on a routine basis. Slow weight loss indicates you are not depriving your body of essential nutrients through fad or extreme calorie restrictive diets. Slow weight loss helps your body adjust to the lower calories without making your body believe it is being “starved.”

If you learn your BMI is in the overweight or obese range, it’s time to develop a weight loss plan. A high fiber and low fat diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains plus lean meats and poultry will help you lose body fat and thus weight. The fact is that the only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than calories expended.

Source: U.S.Department of Health & Human Services, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm

Source: U.S.Department of Health & Human Services, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl2.htm


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