How can I find out my BMI?

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Where can I find out how to measure and calculate my BMI — and how does it relate to whether or not I’m overweight?

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    BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight for adults. The calculation is based on the following equation:

    Weight (in pounds) รท Height (in inches)² x 703

    If that does not compute, here’s the English language version:

    • Multiply your weight in pounds by 703
    • Divide the result by your height in inches
    • Divide that result by your height in inches again

    Then you take that number and figure out your score:

    Underweight: < 18.5
    Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
    Overweight: 25 to 29.9
    Obese: BMI of 30 and higher

    Tape measureFor a quick and easy BMI calculation, try this calculator or this one from Harvard (which also has a simple chart). Enter your height and weight, and the calculator will make an educated estimate based on your inputs.

    And FYI

    Now, BMI does have some limits. If you have a muscular or athletic build, for example, it may overestimate fat. In older people and in those who have lost muscle mass, it may underestimate. (Find out more about BMI calculations here.)

    The most accurate method of determining your body fat percentage is asking your doctor or even a certified personal trainer to measure you, which will either be done via calipers or water displacement.

    In any case, BMI is only one factor to look at in maintaining a healthy lifestyle — but it can certainly act as a benchmark for comparison and improvement.

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