For men older than 19, a healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same scale is used for men and women older than 19, but recommended BMI levels vary by gender and age for those that are 19 and under.Continue Reading
BMI is a strong, but not perfect, indicator of body fatness, the CDC stresses. For example, women and older individuals may have more body fat than others with the same BMI. Additionally, higher body muscularity (not increased fatness) may lead to a higher BMI in athletes.
While BMI is a risk factor for disease, it is by no means the only factor relevant for weight-related disease. Two other important indicators are conditions that typically accompany obesity, such as high blood pressure and waist circumference. Waist circumference is monitored because the presence of additional abdominal fat often leads to higher risk of developing an obesity-related disease.
BMI is calculated according to the same methodology in children, teenagers and adults, but the interpretation of the BMI figure is different for each of the three groups, the CDC states. This is because body fat amount is dependent on the age and sex of young individuals.Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels