BMI is commonly used as a general measure of whether a person’s body weight is appropriate for their height. Specifically, the BMI value is used to determine if an individual is underweight, average weight, or obese, based on where the value falls within the range.
These BMI levels differ by area and age, and are often further subdivided into subcategories including extremely underweight or very overweight. Being obese or malnutrtioned may have serious health consequences, so while BMI is an imperfect predictor of a healthy body mass, it can help determine whether further testing or intervention is necessary. The different categories based on BMI that the calculator uses are mentioned in the table below.
BMI table for adults
Centered on BMI principles, this is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended adult body weight. It is appropriate for both men and women who are at least 18 years old.
|Mild Thinness||17 – 18.5|
|Normal||18.5 – 25|
|Overweight||25 – 30|
BMI chart for adults
Based on data from the World Health Organization, this is a graph of BMI groups. Under a major categorization, the dashed lines reflect subdivisions.
BMI table for children and teens, age 2-20
BMI categorization is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for children and teenagers aged 2 to 20.
|Healthy weight||5% – 85%|
|At risk of overweight||85% – 95%|
Obesity carries a number of risks.
Overweight people are more likely to develop a variety of severe illnesses and health problems. According to (CDC), the following are some of the risks:
- Blood pressure that is too high
- Higher levels of LDL cholesterol, lower levels of HDL cholesterol and large triglyceride levels.
- Diabetes type 2
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis is a form of joint disease caused by cartilage breakdown.
- Breathing issues and sleep apnea
- Clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Aches and pains in the body, as well as difficulties with some bodily functions
As can be seen from the list above, being overweight can have a variety of negative, and in some cases fatal, consequences. In general, a person should aim to keep their BMI below 25 kg/m2, but they should first consult their doctor to see if they need to make any lifestyle changes in order to be safe.
Risks associated with being underweight
Being underweight comes with its own set of risks, which are described below:
- Anemia, malnutrition, and vitamin shortages
- Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning condition that increases the likelihood of breaking a bone.
- Immune system dysfunction
- Problems with growth and development, particularly in children and teenagers
- Hormonal imbalances that interrupt the menstrual cycle can cause reproductive issues in women. Women who are underweight have a greater risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.
- Complications that could arise as a result of surgery
Being underweight may also be a symptom of a more serious underlying illness or disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, which has its own set of dangers. If you or someone you know appears to be underweight, see your doctor, especially if the cause does not appear to be apparent.
Formula of BMI Calculator for men and women
BMI = weight (kg) / [height (m)]2
Overweight is described as a BMI of 25.0 or higher, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. Most adults between the ages of 18 and 65 have a BMI.
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