How to Calculate Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

The number you obtain for your BMI will tell you whether you are normal, overweight, or obese.  It is important that you know your BMI because overweight and obesity are serious risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes.

However, calculating a BMI can be confusing because the formula uses meters for height and kilograms for weight.  We believe everyone should know their own BMI; thus, we used some arithmetic to convert kilograms and meters to the more familiar pounds and inches.

BMI calculated by using the following directions is exactly the same as that calculated from weight in kilograms and height in meters.

Multiply your body weight in pounds by 704.5, and divide this product by your height in inches squared.  As an example: Fred weighs 150 pounds and is 68 inches tall.  To determine his BMI on a calculator (or by hand), multiply his body weight, 150 pounds, by 704.5.  The product is 105675.  Then, calculate his height squared (68 x 68), which gives the number 4624.  Now, divide 105675 by 4624.  The result, 22.85, is Fred’s BMI.  If you follow this example on your own calculator and get the same result, you are ready to calculate your own BMI.

Overweight is a BMI between 25 and 29.9; obese is a BMI of more than 30.

If you are seriously overweight, and particularly if you’re obese, it is very important to consider changing your dietary habits.  You should work with a nutritionist and your doctor to coordinate dietary changes with your state of health and particularly with any prescription drug usage, because healthy diets are known to reduce the need for certain prescription drugs.

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