According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height. The BMI is considered to be a reliable measure of a person’s body fatness, although fat is not directly measured.
The BMI is a screening tool to alert you to a potential problem with your weight. A healthcare professional can then determine whether there is a health risk.
When measured in pounds and inches for adults follow this formula:
BMI = (weight (lbs) / [height (in)]2) x 703
Here is an example for a person weighing 162 pounds with a height of 5 feet, 7 inches or 67 inches.
To get the BMI divide the weight (162 pounds) by the result of the height in inches multiplied by itself (67 x 67) and then multiply that number by 703.
BMI = (162 / 2 or 4489) x 703 = (.036) x 703 = 25.3
A BMI of 25.3 falls within the overweight range.
Here are the BMI (adult) ranges:
BMI WEIGHT STATUS
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 & Above Obese
Be sure to visit the CDC website for metric system calculations and for the BMI for children.