Body Mass Index
You must fill in all the boxes for the calculator to work.
What do I do with the BMI calculator result?
The calculator result is a comparison of weight to height based on a formula. The numerical result categories are based on research that showed increased risk for certain diseases (such as heart disease) for the study participants that had certain combinations of height and weight. The results are the same for women and men. BMI is only one of many assessments of a healthy body weight.
Less than 18.5 = Underweight
18.5 to 24.99 = Standard weight for height
25.0 to 29.99 = Overweight
30.0 to 34.99 = Obese
Is my BMI the same as my body fat?
No! It DOES NOT take into account how much body fat you have. The calculation only considers height and weight. This is the biggest concern in using BMI. A thin person can have a good BMI, but be overfat. Or, a very muscular person can have an "obese" BMI and very low body fat. So, do not use the BMI as your only judge of a healthy weight.
Should I consider other body weight factors?
Know your body fat.
This gives you a sense of fat vs. lean tissue in your body. This can be done at a gym with skinfold calipers, various equipment, and some home-based scales. If you can do "underwater weighing" at a univeristy or research facility, you'll get the most accurate body fat measure. Skinfolds are good if the person taking the measurement has a lot of experience. The various machines (bioelectrical impedance, home scales) are less accurate due to your body's fluid balance that day (from exercise, dehydration, water retention, etc.).
What is a good body fat level?
For women, the minimum percent body fat needed for survival is 12%. Less than that puts you at significant health risk.
Athletic level = 12-15% (6-10% for men)
Good = 16-23% (11-14% for men)
Acceptable = 24-30% (15-20% for men)
Overweight = 31-36% (21-24% for men)
Obese = >37% (>25% for men)
Know your waist circumference.
This gives you a sense of where you are holding any excess weight. Extra weight around the middle (abdominal fat, belly fat, apple shape) puts you at higher risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Carrying your weight lower (hip area, pear shape) is a bummer, but is less risky for the conditions mentioned.
A healthy weight circumference for women is less than 35 inches (measured at the belly button while you are standing up straight...no calculator needed). For men, waist circumference should be less than 40 inches.
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