Calculate your BMI (Body Max Index)

Body Mass Index (BMI) measures the relationship between weight and height and is one of the most accurate ways to determine if extra pounds pose health risks. In June of 1998, the federal government announced guidelines which established a definition of a healthy weight. A BMI score of 20-24 is associated with the lowest health risk, while a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight. Individuals who have a BMI in the range of 25-34.9 and who have a waist size of over 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men are considered to be at an especially increased risk for health problems. Exceptions to a high BMI score include athletes whose BMI is high due to increased muscle mass, and pregnant or lactating women.

According to health experts, people who are overweight but who have no other risk factors (such as heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes) should eat healthfully and exercise to prevent further weight gain. It is recommended that individuals who are overweight and who have health risks actively try to lose weight. A weight loss of just five to ten percent can reduce an individual's risk for other health problems. It is suggested that individuals consult a doctor or other health professional before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.

Weight: lbs. Height: Ft. In. Body Mass Index

According to the Panel on Energy, Obesity, and Body Weight Standards published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

your category is

Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.

Definitions for Adults

For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.

  • An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

See the following table for an example.

Height Weight Range BMI Considered
5' 9" 124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weight
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obese


It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat.

Other methods of estimating body fat and body fat distribution include measurements of skinfold thickness and waist circumference, calculation of waist-to-hip circumference ratios, and techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Healthy Weight

A healthy weight is all about balancing food intake with physical activity.  Small steps add up. Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes.

If you want to reach or maintain a healthy weight, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more.