According to the CDC, Body Mass Index (BMI) provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.1
Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9 while obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or above. The recommended upper limit of body fat as a percentage of body mass is 25.0%.
|30.0 and Above||Obese|
The BMI calculator does have limitations. First, it may overestimate body fat in athletes and those people with a muscular build. Second, it may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass. Why the difference? BMI is calculated using weight and height only. It does not measure body composition or body fat. The calculator should therefore only be used as a general guideline to monitor trends, not as a diagnosis of your health status. Use the BMI calculator as a readily available tool to mark where you are now, then to track your progress. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to determine your true weight status, your associated health risks, and what your target BMI range should be.
Overweight and obesity contribute to the cardiovascular disease burden of our County and our Nation. Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans. Obesity and overweight are known to influence the impact of this disease on the population. Obesity is also an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). In some studies even mild to moderate overweight is associated with a substantial elevation in CHD risk.
Over the past 2 decades, the number of cases of obesity alone has increased more than 50 percent. According to data from the 1988-1994 Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), overweight and obesity affect more than one-half of the U.S. adult population (59.4 percent of men and 50.7 percent of women).
Being at a healthier weight can improve your abilities to meet the demands and better enjoy your career, family and recreational time. And isn't it always nice to feel more trim and fit, and to have more energy? Calculate your BMI. See your doctor for the right BMI goal for you. Make progress towards that goal in small steps. Celebrate each single-digit loss (or gain) in your BMI. You'll be glad you did!
Also see Aim for a Healthy Weight: Key Recommendations from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).