Q:

# What is the formula to calculate BMI for a female?

A:

The formula to calculate adult BMI, or body mass index, is 703(W/h^2), where "W" is the subject's weight in pounds, and "h" is the height in inches, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Body mass index is used as a rough indicator of how close a person is to a healthy weight.

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Using the formula, a woman who weighs 145 pounds and is 64 inches tall yields the formula of 703(145/64^2), and she has a BMI of 24.88. On the scale, this measurement falls just within the healthy range. A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.99, according to the National Institute of Health.

Remember that BMI is only a rough indicator of a healthy weight, and it only measures height and weight. It does not take body composition into account, according to the CDC. People who have different body compositions, such as muscular athletes, might have a higher BMI but still remain healthy. Women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat than men, given equal heights, according to New York University. A body composition test, such as immersion or skin-fold caliper test, may be a better indicator of how much body fat a person has, and it can be used in conjunction with calculating a BMI.

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