The Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. BMI is a simple and economical way of determining weight categories such as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.
A high BMI indicates a high level of body fatness.
BMI detects weight categories that may cause health concerns, however it does not diagnose an individual’s body fatness or health.
BMI does not directly measure body fat, however it is somewhat associated with more direct body fat measurements. In addition, BMI appears to be just as closely linked to many metabolic and illness outcomes as these more direct measures of body fatness.
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Underweight (less than 18.5 kg/m2), normal weight (18.5 to 25 kg/m2), overweight (25 to 30 kg/m2), and obese (more than 30 kg/m2) are the commonly accepted BMI ranges (over 30). The BMI has limitations that make it less useful than some of the alternatives when used to predict an individual’s health rather than as a statistical assessment for groups, especially when used to individuals with abdominal obesity, low stature, or particularly high muscle mass.
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