Body Mass Index: BMI Calculator

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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a popular method that health care professionals use to evaluate body composition based. It is a measure of body fat based on an individual’s height and weight. Enter your height in inches and weight in pounds into the BMI Calculator for Men. Then press Calculate. A normal, healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is overweight, and one greater than 30 is obese. A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight.1

 

BMI Calculator for Men Results

The table below provides a brief description of your BMI calculator results.

Body Mass Index Description
<18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal Weight
24.9 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 – 34.9 Obese (Class 1)
35.0 – 39.9 Obese (Class 2)
> 40.0 Morbidly Obese

BMI Calculator

Weight (in pounds)

Height (in inches)

 

Limitations of Body Mass Index

While body mass index is a well-known index for measuring body composition, it is not necessarily the best. It does not take into account an individual’s body type or composition (the ratio of muscle mass to fat mass). This causes the ratio to be inaccurate for men with a higher percentage of muscle mass and a lower percentage of body fat.1 For example, a man that loses 10 lbs of fat and gains 10 lbs of muscle will have the exact same BMI but will likely be much healthier. Therefore, it may not be an accurate predictor of common health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in certain individuals.

Another, potentially more accurate numerical assessment of overall health is the waist to height ratio.2-5 In fact, the European Congress on Obesity recently stated that the waist to height ratio is the best way to predict a person’s risk of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Unlike body mass index, the waist to height ratio is based on waist size, which is the most dangerous place to carry weight. It also takes into account an individual’s frame. Abdominal fat affects organs like the heart, liver and kidneys more adversely than fat around the hips and bottom, in terms of cardiometabolic risk. (See EMG’s Health Numbers: Waist to Height Ratio).

External Resources: NIH: BMI Calculator

 

1. Osama H. Obesity. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/123702-overview: Medscape Reference; 2012.
2. Lee CM, Huxley RR, Wildman RP, Woodward M. Indices of abdominal obesity are better discriminators of cardiovascular risk factors than body mass index: a meta-analysis. J Clin Epidemiol. Jul 2008; 61 (7): 646-653.
3. Browning, LM. A systematic review of waist-to-height ratio as a screening tool for the prediction of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: 0·5 could be a suitable global boundary value. Nutrition Research Reviews, 2010 23 (02): 247–69.
4. Savva SC, Lamnisos D, Kafatos AG. Predicting cardiometabolic risk: waist-to-height ratio or body mass index. A meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2013; 6: 403–419.
5. Ashwell M, Gunn P, Gibson S. Waist-to-height ratio is a better screening tool than waist circumference and body mass index for adult cardio-metabolic risk factors: systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2012; 13 (3): 275–286.