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Body Mass Index - Normal Weight, Overweight, Obese
Health Effects of Weight Status According to Body Mass Index
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What is Underweight, Normal Weight, Overweight & Obesity?

Body Mass Index Weight Categories

Body Mass Index

BMI is an estimate of total body fat based on your height and weight. It's important to know your BMI because excess body fat can put you at risk for health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To calculate your BMI yourself, use either of these formulas:

  • BMI = Weight [in pounds] X 704.5 divided by (Height [in inches] X Height [in inches])
  • BMI = Weight [in kilos] divided by (Height [in meters] X Height [in meters])

Body Mass Index Weight Categories and Conclusions

BMI Rating Weight Assessment
Under 20 Men
Under 19 Women
20-24.99 Normal Weight
25-29.99 Overweight
30-34.99 Obese (Class 1)
35-39.99 Obese (Class 2)
40 and above Morbid Obesity

BMI Under 20 (Men); Under 19 (Women)

You should seriously consider gaining weight. Although your risk of health problems associated with obesity is almost non-existent, you may be at risk of underweight-related illness - such as disappearance of periods (women), bone loss, malnutrition and other conditions. The lower your BMI the greater these risks become. For an explanation of all your options, please see your doctor.

BMI 20-24.99 - Normal Weight

You are within the healthy weight range for your height and the risk of weight-related health problems is very small. However, it may be a good idea to check your Waist Circumference and keep it within the recommended limits. In addition, see Weight Related Risk Factors for a summary of other risk considerations. This applies especially if you are close to BMI 24.99.

BMI 25-29.99 - Overweight

If your BMI is 25-27 you have a slightly increased risk of weight-related health problems. Try to maintain your weight and, ideally, reduce it - especially if you have any Weight Related Risk Factors. If your BMI is 27-29.99 your risk of health problems becomes higher. In a recent study an increased rate of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease was recorded at 27.3 for women and 27.8 for men. Again, it may be a good idea to check your Waist Circumference and compare it with the recommended limits.

BMI 30-34.99 - Obese (Class 1)

With a BMI of 30-34.99 you are considered to be obese (seriously overweight), and your risk of weight-related illness is significantly increased, especially if you have a larger than recommended waist circumference or any of the Weight Related Risk Factors. Ideally, see your doctor and consider reducing your weight by 5-10 percent. Such a weight reduction will result in considerable health improvements.

BMI 35-39.99 - Obese (Class 2)

If you have a BMI of 35-39.99 your risk of weight-related health problems and even death, is severe. See your doctor and reduce your weight to a lower BMI.

BMI 40+ - Morbid Obesity

With a BMI of 40+ you have an extremely high risk of weight-related disease and premature death. Indeed, you may already be suffering from a weight-related condition. For the sake of your health it is very important to see your doctor and get specialist help for your condition.


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