Rate Your Weight with BMI (Body Mass Index)

By Carol Ann Rinzler, Martin W. Graf

Part of Controlling Cholesterol For Dummies Cheat Sheet

BMI (body mass index) is a valuable health predictor. The higher your BMI number, the higher the risk of health problems including coronary heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Body mass index (BMI) is a gender-free measurement that relates height to weight. To get your BMI, use the following equation:

Your weight (lbs)/Your height (in)2 × 705

For a person who weighs 138 pounds and stands 5’3” tall, the equation looks like this:

BMI = W/H2 × 705

= (138 pounds/63 × 63 inches) × 705

= (138/3969) × 705

= 24.5 BMI

Apply your BMI number to the following categories:

BMI Status
<18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Healthy
25-29.9 Overweight
>30 Obese
>40 Extremely obese

Source: The National Center for Health Statistics