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How to Find Your BMI

Find your height in the left column of the BMI Chart and follow it across to find a weight that is closest to your body weight. Then work your way up to find your Body Mass Index (BMI). For example, if your height is 5’10” or 70 inches and your weight is 185, your BMI is 26.5. If the weight is anywhere between the two BMI values, add .5 to the lower BMI value. Also, if your height is anywhere between the two height values, choose the higher of the two height values.

A Bit about BMI

A healthy weight goes beyond the number you read on your scale: There is also your body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement that determines if you are at an appropriate weight for your height by estimating your body fat.

Although BMI is generally a reliable approximation of body fat, it does not always tell the whole story, because BMI does not differentiate between body fat and lean muscle mass. In fact, BMI might be a poor indicator of body fat in athletes, people who have a muscular build, and those who are heavily engaged in strength training, because their dense muscle mass may classify them as overweight when they really are not. On the flip side, it might un­derestimate body fat in older individuals and people who have lost muscle mass.

Even with its drawbacks, however, BMI can give you a rough idea of how healthy you are. You can use BMI to help you evaluate whether you need to make lifestyle changes, for example. A body fat composition measure­ment may serve as a “support” mechanism in cases where increases or decreases in BMI are in question.

Use the following list to determine where you fit in:

Below 18.5: Underweight

18.5 to 24.9: Normal (Healthy)

25.0 to 29.9: Overweight

30.0 to 39.9: Obese

40 and above: Extremely Obese