BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It's used as a convenient way of assessing whether a person is the right weight for their height. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by their height (in meters, squared).
You don't need to bother with that though - just use the calculator on the right and then check your results against the chart below to see how far you need to go. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.
Remember that BMI is a guide and should not be used as the only measure of whether you are overweight or not - some bigger and very muscular athletes such as rugby players have a BMI over 30 and are the last people you'd think of as obese!
If you calculate your BMI and you are in any way concerned about the results talk to your doctor.
The BMI chart below is only a guide and it's important that you get medical advice before making any major changes to your lifestyle to gain or lose weight.
If you don't know your weight in pounds - use the converter below first. You'll need to enter your weight in stones as a decimal eg 12 stone 7lbs = 12.5
|1lb = 0.07
2lb = 0.14
3lb = 0.21
4lb = 0.28
5lb = 0.35
6lb = 0.42
7lb = 0.50
|8lb = 0.57
9lb = 0.64
10lb = 0.73
11lb = 0.79
12lb = 0.85
13lb = 0.93
14lb = 1.00
Low body fat. If you are in this range, you could be very athletic, naturally small framed, be ill, have an eating disorder or work as a fashion model!
If you are dieting to stay in this weight range, then you should consider the possible consequences to your health. If you are in this weight range and still losing weight then you should talk to your health professional and seek advice.
This is where most of us would like to end up. If your body mass is in this range, you look better, feel better and generally are healthier. Life expectancy and general health can be improved by staying at a healthy weight.
You're overweight, and have a higher risk of developing problems (see below). You need to start a diet and exercise programme. Cut down on the snacks, avoid the beer and walk a bit more and you'll be surprised how fast you can reduce your BMI.
You're more overweight, and have a significantly higher risk of developing medical problems (see below). You really need to start a diet and exercise programme today. If your waist is over 40 inches for men or 35 for women that makes it even more important that you shed a few pounds otherwise you'll be in the following category before you can say 'hold the fries'
You're extremely overweight. This excess body fat means a much higher risk of developing medical problems (see below) - this can lead to an early demise which is why the medical profession refer to this weight range as 'morbidly obese'. But the good news is it's never too late to start on the right track - talk to your friendly health professional about a diet and exercise program and you'll be a shadow of your former self in no time!
Hypertension - High blood pressure
Cardiovascular Disease - Heart and circulation problems
Dyslipidemia - High levels of fat in the blood
Adult Onset type 2 Diabetes - Usually after 40 years of age, 60% to 90% of patients are overweight
Sleep Apnea - Temporarily stopping breathing during sleep often due to obstruction of the upper airway by fatty tissue.
Osteoarthritis - Degenerative disorder of joints, frequently in the spine and weight bearing joints (knees and hips).
Female Infertility - Unable to naturally conceive, carry or deliver a healthy child without medical intervention.