Body mass index (BMI) is a reliable indicator of your total body fat based on your height and weight. All you need in order to assess your BMI is your height and weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI may be too low! Visit our Eat Better page to learn more.
Your BMI is within the normal range. Visit our Know Your Numbers page to be sure you are living as heart healthy as possible.
Your BMI is too high! Visit our Lose Weight page to learn more.
Your BMI is too high and puts you at risk for developing heart disease. To learn more about obesity and what you can do, visit our Obesity page.
Your child’s BMI is within the normal range. Visit our Healthy Eating for Kids page to be sure your child is eating as healthy as possible.
Your child's BMI is too high and puts him/her at risk for developing heart disease. To learn more about childhood obesity and what you can do, visit our Obesity page.
What is BMI?
Body mass index (BMI) is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. Excess body fat is related to serious health conditions. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:
- Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
- Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit
- Inadequately evaluate health risks of people with excess abdominal fat
In addition, people of Asian descent may have an increased risk of health problems at a lower BMI threshold than the general population. Asians with a BMI of 23 or higher may be at risk.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your BMI.
A limitation that should be kept in mind is that BMI may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. It may also underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.