What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Measuring your BMI is a great way to check if you are a healthy weight for your height. The calculation divides your weight by your height squared.

What does BMI tell me?

BMI helps give you an indication as to whether you are at an increased risk of health problems that are associated with overweight and obesity. In general the higher your BMI the greater your risk of health problems. You can use our Free personal profile to check if you are in a healthy BMI range.

Who should use BMI calculations?

A body mass index calculation is for adults. It uses ranges for each category which takes into consideration that people come in different shapes and sizes.
*please note there are exceptions to the rule please see ‘how accurate is BMI’

What are the BMI ranges?

BMI <18.5 = If you register below 18.5 this means that you may be underweight.
BMI 18.5 – 24.9 = If your between 18.5 and 24.9 this puts you in the healthy weight range.
BMI 25 – 29.9 = If you are between 25 and 29.9 this means you may be overweight.
BMI 30+ = If your BMI is 30 or above this is classified as obese.

What if I’m not in a healthy range?

If your BMI falls outside of the “healthy” weight range you may want to talk with your GP about how you can best achieve a healthier body weight. If you are over the healthy weight range you can reduce your BMI by losing weight. This is best achieved by following a healthy eating plan and taking regular exercise if possible. If you are classified as underweight it is not recommended you try to lose weight.

How can Kcal Extra help?

We offer a calorie-controlled, healthy eating plan delivered direct to your door. Click here to learn more about Kcal Extra

How accurate is the BMI?

It is a useful measurement for the majority of people however it does have limitations:
Athletes or very muscular people could record higher BMI readings – this is because muscle weighs more than fat and BMI cannot account for this.
It is a general tool to help people identify people who may be at an increased health risk, it is not a diagnostic tool that determines the overall health of a specific individual.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding BMI does not apply.

Are there other indicators?

Waist circumference measurements and waist to hip ratios can also be helpful tools in assessing increased health risks.

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