Calculating BMI


By: Nikki Nies

BMI is a quick, easy measurement tool any one can do with a scale and a measuring tape.   BMI is a greater indicator of health status and fat mass, but by no means be used as the end all indicator of one’s health.

Measurement Units Formula and Calculation
Kilograms or meters Formula: weight (kg) / [height (m)]With the metric system, the formula for BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Since height is commonly measured in centimeters, divide height in centimeters by 100 toobtain height in meters.Example: Weight = 68 kg, Height = 165 cm (1.65 m)
Calculation: 68 ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98
Pounds and inches Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x703Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversionfactor of 703.Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5″ (65″)
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96

Now, you may be wondering, what does a 24.96 mean? There are 4 main brackets on BMI chart, where one can be categorized.

After a calculation has been made, one can look to a standardized chart to see where their number lies:

  • Below 18.5–>Underweight
  • 18.5-24.9–>Normal
  • 25.0-29.9–>Overweight
  • 30 and above–>obese

It’s good to remember BMI is not a diagnostic, but a screening tool used by health professionals.  To determine if one has excess weight, further assessments are needed to confirm BMI’s indications of health (i.e. skinfold thickness; evaluations of diet and physical activity and family history).



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