Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on a person’s weight in relation to their height. It is used as a screening tool to identify potential weight-related health problems. The formula to calculate BMI is to divide the weight (in kilograms) by the square of the height (in meters). The resulting number is interpreted using a standardized set of criteria.
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be in the healthy range, while a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered to be in the “overweight” range. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered to be in the “obese” range. However, it’s worth noting that BMI is not an accurate measurement of body fat, and there are some limitations to using it as a diagnostic tool.
For example, muscle mass, bone density, and body fat distribution can all affect a person’s BMI. Some people may have a high BMI but not a high amount of body fat and be perfectly healthy, and conversely, people with low muscle mass and a high BMI may be at risk of health problems.
It is also important to use other measurements to get a more accurate picture of a person’s health and fitness level, such as measuring body fat percentage and assessing overall health through physical exams, blood work, and general wellness questionnaires.
It is also worth noting that BMI is not a diagnostic tool for children and adolescents, there are separate calculations and evaluations of BMI-for-age and growth charts that take into account the different growth patterns of children and adolescents.