The median body mass index (BMI) for males in the United States hovers around 25, according to halls.md, a website about BMI. BMI varies by age and height, but at first glance it appears that over half the men in the United States are seriously overweight.
BMI is a measurement of how much body fat you have proportional to your height. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says it is a reliable measurement that can help you figure out if you are at a healthy weight. BMI over 25 is considered overweight, while BMI over 30 is considered obese, according to the CDC.
BMI Statistics for Adult Men
The average BMI for adult men rises as men get older, with a slight decline after the age of 50, according to a CDC chart provided by halls.md. The chart also shows that the median BMI is between 20 and 25, meaning that half the men surveyed have a BMI of over 25.
BMI and Muscle Mass
BMI measures both muscle and fat. The CDC says that men who are especially athletic, such as professional athletes, may have a higher BMI because of their muscle mass. Increased muscle mass may help explain why the average BMI for men is as high as it is.
Variations in BMI
The CDC considers BMI a reliable measure of body fat. However, BMI varies by age and sex. Older people tend to have more body fat for the same BMI measurement than younger people, and women tend to have more body fat than men. Thus, the average BMI for men hovering near 25 may be less of a concern for younger men and may not be as meaningful for men as it would be if the average BMI for women was around this number.
Other Risk Factors
BMI is only one indicator of health risk. Men whose BMI is over 25 should ask their doctor to check their waist circumference, as abdominal fat is more of a concern than fat in general, and discuss risk factors with them.
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