How to Calculate BMI - Body Mass Index

When you calculate BMI, you are finding a figure that relates your weight to your height. The sum used to calculate Body Mass Index is your weight in kilograms or pounds, divided by the square of your height in metres or inches.

It's quick and simple to do - just punch your numbers into the little bmi calculator on the right, and you'll come up with an answer straight away.

Remember when you look at your BMI result that you're not directly measuring the amount of fat that you carry. BMI can only be an indicator of whether or not you need to lose weight.

Someone with plenty of muscles could have a relatively high body mass index, without being fat, because muscle is relatively heavy. Down the other end of the spectrum, an older person could have a healthy BMI but still be carrying more fat than is good for them, because bones become lighter with age, and the proportions of lean tissue to fat alter.

Even so, body mass index is a useful measure, widely used by health professionals, and gives you a great starting point when you want to beat menopause weight gain.

Understanding your body mass index calculation

This bmi scale shows you how to interpret the result when you calculate your bmi. These BMI ranges were laid down by the World Health Organisation.

  • BMI less than 18.4 means you are underweight for your height.
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 means you are at an ideal weight for your height.
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9, means you are overweight for your height.
  • BMI between 30 and 39.9, means that you are obese.
  • BMI over 40, means that you are dangerously obese.

What to do if your BMI is over 25

A body mass index of 25+ is a wake-up call. There are many important reasons to lose weight, so start taking action to beat the bulge right away.

If your BMI is 30+ you should make changes straight away to lose weight. Talk to your doctor for advice on how to lose weight safely before you embark on a weight-loss program, particularly if you already have any health conditions.

You should also consult your doctor if you've either gained or lost a noticeable amount of weight recently, with no obvious explanation.

Make a note of your result, and remember to come back and calculate BMI again after a few weeks of a healthier lifestyle.

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BMI Calculator

See Understanding Your Body Mass Index Calculation, left, to find out what your bmi calculation means. Please note, these BMI figures do not apply to under 18s or over-60s.

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