Body Mass Index (BMI)
Why measure BMI?
- Individuals who are obese with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 are more likely to develop diabetes.
- BMI is an indirect measure of body fatness.
- An individual’s height and weight are used to calculate BMI.
- To obtain an accurate measurement, use a stadiometer (device used to measure height).
- Have individual remove shoes and stand erect with feet together and knees straight.
- Heels, buttocks, shoulders and back of head should touch the stadiometer; individuals should be looking straight ahead.
- Record height to the nearest 0.5 cm (1/8 inch).
- To obtain an accurate measurement, use a calibrated balance beam scale.
- Make sure the scale pointer is at zero.
- Individual should be wearing light clothes and remove their shoes.
- Have the individual stand unassisted (if possible) on the center of the balance platform.
Record weight to the nearest 0.1 kg (1/4 lb).
- You can use an equation, table or online program to determine BMI.
- BMI = weight (kg) divided by height squared (m2) or BMI = weight (lbs) multiplied by 703 then divided by height squared (inches2)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indirect measure for body fatness.
- Ranges for BMI (kg/m2):
- Underweight is defined as below 18.5
- Normal is between 15.5 and 24.9
- Overweight is defined as 25.0 to 29.9
- Obese is ≥30