Understanding BMI

A BMI calculator estimates body fat based on height and weight. It provides a numerical score to classify someone as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. This helps assess overall health and the risk of weight-related health problems.

However, it may not be accurate for everyone since it doesn’t consider factors like muscle mass or body composition.


Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a simple yet powerful tool used to assess our body’s weight in relation to our height. It provides valuable insights into our health and is widely used by healthcare professionals and individuals alike. In this article, we’ll break down BMI and answer five essential questions: How is it calculated? What does it mean? Who should use it? Where can you find it? And, most importantly, why is it important for your health?

How is BMI Calculated?

BMI is calculated using a straightforward formula:

BMI = Weight (kg) / (Height (m))^2

Here’s how you can calculate your BMI:

  1. Measure your weight in kilograms (kg).
  2. Measure your height in meters (m).
  3. Square your height in meters (multiply your height by itself).
  4. Divide your weight by the squared height.

What Does BMI Indicate?

BMI falls into various categories:

  • Below 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 to 22.9: Normal weight
  • 25 to 29.9: Overweight
  • 30 or above: Obesity

It’s important to note that while BMI provides an estimate of body fat, it doesn’t consider factors like muscle mass, bone density, and fat distribution. These factors can vary among individuals.

Who Should Use BMI?

BMI is a useful tool for most adults aged 18 to 65. However, it has limitations. It may not accurately reflect the health of athletes with high muscle mass or older adults, as it can underestimate their healthiness.

For children and adolescents, BMI percentiles adjusted for age and sex are used to assess growth.

Where Can You Find Your BMI?

You can calculate your BMI using the calculator above or manually, as we described earlier. Alternatively, many health and fitness websites offer online BMI calculators. Numerous fitness trackers and health apps also include built-in BMI calculators, making it easy to check your BMI on the go.

Why Does BMI Matter for Your Health?

BMI serves several important purposes:

  • Health Risk Assessment: BMI provides an initial screening for the risk of obesity-related health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
  • Health Monitoring: It helps individuals and healthcare professionals track changes in weight and overall health over time.
  • Treatment Guidance: Healthcare professionals use BMI to inform treatment plans and interventions for weight-related health issues.
  • Public Health: On a broader scale, BMI data is used to understand and address public health challenges related to obesity and its consequences.


In conclusion, BMI is a valuable tool for assessing weight-related health risks, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. For a comprehensive view of your health, consider other factors like diet, exercise, genetics, and overall well-being. 

Always remember that BMI provides an estimate, and individual health is influenced by various factors. If you have concerns about your weight or health, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalised guidance tailored to your unique circumstances. 

Understanding your BMI is a step towards better health, but it’s only the beginning of your wellness journey.