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Understanding BMI

BMI is a simple measure based on weight and height. BMI is widely used to assess if a person is of a healthy weight. BMI can be useful because it gives an idea about whether someone is underweight or overweight, based on the last 100 years.   However, it’s reliability has been criticized as it does not distinguish fat from muscle, and does not tell us where body fat is stored. As a single measure, BMI is clearly not a perfect measure of health, but it’s still a useful starting point for important conditions that become more likely when a person is overweight. Sometimes this can prove to be inaccurate because it does not take into account muscle mass, bone density, and overall body composition.

Learning your BMI, can be a good idea, just as a starting point.

An adult’s body Mass Index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. To calculate BMI in pounds and inches, divide weight in pounds by height in inches squared, and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703. Calculating BMI is a method of determine your category of weight, such as underweight, normal/healthy weight, overweight, or obese.

BMI does not measure amount of fat directly, but can be correlated with metabolic or disease outcome. It is an inexpensive screening tool and can be an indicator of high body fat mass, but is not diagnostic. In order to determine if your BMI is a health risk, you would need to undergo further assessments, such as skinfold thickness measurements, underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and isotope dilution.

Standard weight categories associated with BMI ranges for adults are:


Weight Status

Below 18.5


18.5 – 24.9

Normal or Healthy Weight

25.0 – 29.9


30.0 and Above



People with obesity are at an increased risk for:  death, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, chronic inflammation, and low quality of life.

Aligned Medical Group has a comprehensive weight loss and lifestyle program to reduce weight and BMI. A healthy BMI and weight can have a dramatic effect on overall health as well as joints and back pain.



Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 29). About adult BMI.


Aligned Medical Group, P.C.

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