Q:

What is the formula to calculate body mass index?

A:

The formula to calculate body mass index is weight (kg) / height (meters) squared. Usually abbreviated to BMI, body mass index is a measure of the body fat of adult men and women based on their height and weight. Another formula is mass (pounds) / height (inches) squared x 703.

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A person’s BMI may also be obtained by looking at a standardized chart. The chart has height (meters) on the y-axis and weight (kilograms) on the x-axis. Numerous health institutions and agencies use the index to measure the obesity of a population. People who are below 18.5 BMI are deemed underweight while those with 18.5 - 24.9 are normal. On the other hand, people with 25.0 - 29.9 BMI are considered overweight while 30.0 and above are obese.

BMI is only one factor used to determine a person’s susceptibility to disease. Other factors that health institutes use are a person’s waist circumference, high blood pressure and physical inactivity. Similarly, the correlation between BMI and body fatness could depend on factors such as a person’s age, sex and race. Modern technology has also contributed to the process of obtaining BMI. Today, there are numerous websites where a person can enter the values of his or her weight and height and the computer calculates the BMI.

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Related Questions

• A:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, body mass index is calculated by using weight and height. If the measurement system used is the International System of Units, the weight of the individual in kilograms is divided by the height in meters squared. If the measurement system used is the United States Customary Units, the weight in pounds is divided by height in inches squared multiplied by 703.

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• A:

To calculate your body mass index, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, then multiply the quotient by 703. Those who use the metric system may divide weight in kilograms by height in meters squared; the quotient is the BMI. Use a BMI chart to determine whether the number indicates underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. Those with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are generally considered to be a healthy weight.

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• A:

It is not possible to calculate the body mass index (BMI) with just a person's age, as age does not figure in the formula for BMI. The formula for determining a person's BMI is: [weight in pounds divided by the square of the height in inches] multiplied by 703. The 703 figure is the conversion factor.