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What is Healthy Weight?

family posing with bicycles

For Adults

For adults, a normal or healthy weight is defined as an appropriate weight in relation to height. This ratio of weight to height is known as the body mass index (BMI). People who are overweight have too much body weight for their height; people who are obese have a large amount of extra body fat in relation to their height.

What's your BMI?
Adults can use this handy calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov to learn their own BMI.

Use the table below to see if your BMI falls within a normal range:

If BMI is less than 18.5, you are underweight.

If BMI is 18.5–24.9, you are normal or healthy weight.

If BMI is 25.0–29.9, you are overweight.

If BMI is 30.0 and above, you are obese.

Take the Next Step
If your BMI falls outside of the normal range, visit our Actions for Individuals and Families page.

For Children and Teens

For children and teens, overweight is defined differently than it is for adults. BMIs for youth 2-20 years old are determined by comparing their weight and height against growth charts that take their age and gender into account, because children are still growing, and boys and girls develop at different rates. A child's "BMI-for-age," as it is called, shows how his or her BMI compares with other girls or boys of the same age. A child or teen between the 85th and 95th percentile on the growth chart is considered overweight. A child or teen at the 95th percentile or above is considered obese. Find out your child's BMI by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Child and Teen BMI Percentile Calculator.Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

If your child is overweight or obese, visit the Healthy Weight Model page for some helpful ideas.