BMI Information

Information and Cautions about BMI Numbers

Although BMI is be used for the majority of men and women as a general standard, it does have some limitations since it is just an estimation and all body types, builds and muscle proportions are different.

It may indicate excessive body fat in athletes, bodybuilders and others who have a muscular build since they are heavier but not taller.

It may not account for body fat in older persons and others since weight is the only indicator and they are still the same height but may have lost muscle mass.

The BMI scores translate this way:


Underweight    Below 18.5

Normal              18.5–24.9

Overweight       25.0–29.9

Obesity              30.0 and Above

Measuring Waist Circumference

Measuring waist circumference is also important to alert one to other potential health risks associated with being overweight or obese. If the majority of your fat is at your waist instead of at your hips, you have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The potential risk increases with a waist that measures more than 35 inches for women or 40 inches or more for men. To be sure to get an accurate reading when you measure your waist, stand up straight and wrap a tape measure just above your hipbones. Breathe out first and then take a reading.

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