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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that health professionals use to classify a person’s weight relative to their height. If your BMI is 25 or greater, then you may be overweight. If this is the case, it’s time to take action and improve your health.

The healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9 and the formula is : Person’s weight in kilograms/height in square metres.

A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight, while anything below 18.5 is underweight and any BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight or obese.

CategoryBMI range – kg/m2
Severe Thinness< 16
Moderate Thinness16 – 17
Mild Thinness17 – 18.5
Normal18.5 – 25
Overweight25 – 30
Obese Class I30 – 35
Obese Class II35 – 40
Obese Class III> 40

BMI calculator : Exceptions

BMI is used to find out if your weight is a healthy weight or not. This means that some people who have a higher muscle mass, such as athletes and young children may have a high BMI but not be at greater health risk. However, the elderly who are losing some muscle mass may have a lower BMI. It is not a good indicator of health for pregnant and breastfeeding women as it does not take into account body fat percentage.

Risks with being overweight : (Source : CDC)

One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy is to watch your weight. You probably already know that being overweight or obese can raise your risk for developing potentially life-threatening complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure, but there are also risks associated with being underweight.

A person’s risk of developing many diseases and other health conditions increases when they are overweight. These include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus type II, stroke and osteoarthritis. Some cancers such as breast, endometrial, colorectal and kidney might also be increased with an increased BMI. Being overweight also exposes you to health problems such as gallbladder disease and sleep apnea. Source : (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The psychological symptoms are :

Risks with being underweight

Being underweight can cause you to have malnourishment, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, osteoporosis and may even lower your immune function. Also the chance of unsuccessful pregnancies is much more likely if you are underweight.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are thought to be underweight may not just have a low BMI, they may also be lacking in essential nutrients. Being underweight is actually one of the primary factors that doctors, nurses and clinical staff look for when identifying malnutrition in hospital patients.

Teens who are underweight have slower development of sexual characteristics and a decrease in muscle strength.
Many women who are underweight also have a higher chance of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy.

In addition to an increased risk of mortality compared to those with a healthy BMI (The Body Mass Index) , having low body weight can increase your risk for other chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and osteoarthritis just to name a few.   

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Calculate your Body Mass Index with our BMI calculator

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Not sure whether you’re considered overweight or just right? Our BMI calculator takes into account your height and weight to give you a more accurate answer.

Our BMI calculator is accurate and easy to use, which helps you make lifestyle, diet and exercise changes to improve your health.