The Comprehensive Guide to the BMI Calculator

Last updated: January 28th, 2024


A BMI calculator is a tool used to determine an individual's Body Mass Index (BMI). The Body Mass Index is a numerical value derived from an individual's height and weight. It's an indicator of body fatness for most people and is used as a screening tool to identify potential weight-related health problems.

The formula for BMI is:

  1. For the metric system: BMI=weight (kg)height (m)2BMI=height (m)2weight (kg)​

  2. For the imperial system: BMI=(weight (lbs)height (inches)2)×703BMI=(height (inches)2weight (lbs)​)×703

Once the BMI value is calculated, it can be categorized as follows:

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
  • Obesity: BMI is 30 or greater

However, it's essential to note that:

  • BMI does not distinguish between weight from fat and weight from lean muscle mass. So, a very muscular person may be classified as overweight or obese when they are actually in good health.
  • BMI might not accurately reflect body fatness in older adults, or those with a significant muscle mass.
  • It does not directly measure body fat and should not be used as a diagnostic tool. Instead, it's a screening measure.

For a more accurate measure of body fat and health risks, additional tests, like skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, or underwater weighing, might be required. Always consult with healthcare professionals to understand the implications of a particular BMI value.


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