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Personal Look at BMI

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When it comes to weight, the body mass index (BMI) is the most common for determining health. But what does it really mean?

By definition, a BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. This has a large range that is separated into a few categories: underweight, normal, overweight, obese (including severe and morbidly). The range looks like this:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9

Obese = 30-34.9
Severe = 35-39.9
Morbid = >40

How does someone check their BMI?

One website that is simple to follow is: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

Follow these steps:
1. Enter your weight and height using Standard or Metric measures.
2. Click on "Compute BMI" and your BMI will appear in the heart of the figure.

I put in my data and came up with a 40.4, which means I am barely in the morbidly obese range. Time to get back on the treadmill.

Add a Comment6 Comments

The metabolic specialist at our fitness center tested my daughter and me for, among a host of other things, our BMI. Now, my daughter is a waif of a thing, barely 5 feet tall and 100 lbs - holding her breath. If she turns sideways, you barely see her. Yet, her BMI put her in the overweight category. Go figure!

I already knew mine did, LOL! That darned menopause belly...

August 10, 2009 - 5:14pm
(reply to alysiak)

5 feet tall and 100 lbs? That seems a bit odd. I know that 135 is overweight for that height but under 120 isn't. It is easy for someone to be "overweight" with the BMI. That's why other measurements can be used and I'll have to explore those.

August 10, 2009 - 8:26pm


Thanks so much for posting the BMI calculator. While it's not the perfect indicator, it is something that helps people know where they are on the continuum. And it can be a true learning experience for a person who thinks she or he is just "a little overweight" who then finds out that her or his BMI lands them in the "obese" classification. Talk about a wakeup call.

You rock for being aware of your status and for planning to do something about it!

August 10, 2009 - 8:38am

Thanks for the comments. I am aware of all mentioned as I've been trying to lose weight for years with different programs.

August 9, 2009 - 12:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

Also, FYI Amber, getting on the treadmill alone will do little to change your body. Ask anyone in the health and fitness industry. Fitness and lowering bodyfat is 90% diet. Remember too that any white carbohydrate(bread,potato, corn) turns to sugar in the body and will be stored as more fat unless you are a marathon runner. Load up on plenty of non starchy vegetables, lean protein, low sugar fruits, and water and you will see a marked improvement in health and weight. Also stay away from soda. Especially diet soda. Aspartame turns to formaldehyde when it hits your stomach. Scary! Artificial chemicals can prohibit weight loss too.

August 9, 2009 - 12:13pm
EmpowHER Guest

BMI by height and weight is NOT I repeat NOT and accurate gauge of correct weight or obesity. Muscle is not considered. Muscle weighs more than fat. A body builder with 10% fat but who weighs 200lbs at 5 ft 10, or Beyonce who has high muscle to fat ratio would both be considered obese. A more accurate reading would be from fat calipers. Even the old pinch an inch is better than height weight BMI!

August 9, 2009 - 11:29am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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