BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a screening tool used to determine if a person is overweight or obese.
How does knowing your BMI help you? A higher than normal BMI puts one at risk for certain diseases.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness.
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- A BMI less than 18.5, is considered underweight.
- A BMI between 18.5 to <25, is within the normal range.
- A BMI between 25.0 to <30, is considered overweight.
- A BMI of 30.0 or higher, is within the obese range.
The subcategories of Obesity are:
- Class 1: BMI of 30 to < 35
- Class 2: BMI of 35 to < 40
- Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher. Class 3 obesity is occasionally categorized as “severe” or “extreme” obesity.
How to Measure Abdominal or Waist Circumference
The abdominal or waist circumference measurement also helps predict one’s risk of certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke; the higher the circumference, the greater their risks for developing these problems.
This measurement is particularly useful in individuals who are overweight, but not obese on the BMI scale.
There is no need to take the measurement if your BMI is 35, for there is little added predictive power of disease risk beyond a BMI of 35.
To measure your abdominal circumference, locate the top of your hip bones, place a measuring tape horizontally around the bare abdomen at this level and adjust so it’s parallel to the floor. Pull the tape measure snug, but not tight. Record the measurement.
Measuring Tape Position for Abdominal (Waist) Circumference