The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides a body mass index chart and guidelines for understanding your index. Body mass index, abbreviated as BMI, refers to body weight relative to height. Age and height help to determine a normal body weight for a child or adolescent. BMI calculators with a feature that includes adult age ranges show how your body mass compares with the average American body mass for your height and age. The Mayo Clinic's online BMI calculator offers results for adults or children.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Online BMI calculator (see Resources section)
Navigate your browser to a BMI calculator that offers results related to age (see Resources section).
Enter your weight. Specify pounds or kilograms.
Enter your height, and specify inches or centimetres (cm).
Enter your age. Enter your gender.
Double-check your results by re-entering all the numbers to make sure the results are accurate.
Refer to the website's information about your results. For example, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is normal, for example, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. A BMI under 18.5 signifies underweight, and a BMI over 24.9 signifies overweight. A BMI over 29.9 indicates obesity. Weight ranges related to age are offered on Dr. Hall M.D.'s website (see Resources section).
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor about your BMI results and concerns about body weight.
- BMI results for athletic or muscular individuals tend to be inaccurate. Lean muscle mass weighs more than fat. An older individual's results might underestimate body mass, as many people lose muscle as they age.
- Obesity is associated with health risks, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Avoid quick-fix diets and extremely low-calorie programs. Extreme diets attempted without medical supervision can damage your health.
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