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BMI (or Body Mass Index) is a way of working out if you’re a healthy weight for your height.
BMI = [ Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Metres x Height in Metres ) ]
or to put it another way: weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared.
So, for example, if you weigh 80kg and are 1.75m tall, your BMI = 80/(1.75x1.75) = 26.1
There is a calculator on the NHS website.
People come in all shapes and sizes so any BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be healthy.
Being overweight and particularly being obese increases your risk of risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
BMI is guidance not a magic formula and not the only factor a doctor will be interested in.
Muscle weighs more than fat so professional athletes with high muscle bulk may have high BMIs without being unhealthily overweight.
Ethnicity matters too. Because of the increased risk of diabetes in Asian men, these men are advised to keep their BMI below 23. Although the evidence is less clear-cut, black people and other minority groups are also advised to maintain a BMI below 25 to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.
Yes. Waist size.
Note that this is not necessarily the same as your trouser size. Measure your waist at the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips and breathe out naturally (no holding it in.)
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Date of last review 03/08/15
Date of next review 08/08/17
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