Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults.
People are divided into healthy or unhealthy weight categories based on a universally-adopted measure dubbed Body Mass Index (BMI) — a ratio of weight-to-height squared.
A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9.
One is considered underweight below 18.5, overweight from 25 up, and obese from 30 — when the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some cancers escalates massively.
With a BMI of 35 one is categorized as severely obese, and from 40 upward as morbidly so.
Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:
cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke;
musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);(endometrial, breast, and colon).
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese (having a body mass index of 40 or above or 35 plus other obesity-related health conditions).
How Do I Interpret Body Mass Index Information?
About BMI for Adults
Information about BMI and interpreting this number for adults.
About BMI for Children and Teens
Information about BMI and interpreting the BMI percentile for children and teens.
Other Helpful BMI Tools
Adult Body Mass Index Calculator Widget
Add this widget to your Web site to let anyone calculate their BMI. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. This calculator provides BMI and the corresponding weight category. Use this calculator for adults, 20 years old and older.
CDC Child and Teen BMI Calculator Widget
Add this widget to your Web site. This calculator provides BMI and the corresponding BMI-for-age percentile on a CDC BMI-for-age growth chart. Use this calculator for children and teens, aged 2 through 19 years old.
The Children’s BMI Tool for Schools
This Excel spreadsheet can be used by school, child care, and other professionals who want to compute Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age for a group of up to 2000 children, such as for a school class room or grade.