To read a body weight graph, users need to know their weight and height, notes Rush.edu. These graphs, also known as the body mass index, give a number that is the result of a complex formula using height and weight as variables. The higher the number, the more likely the person is to be overweight or obese.
Reading a BMI is a quick way to determine if a person's weight is in a healthy range, notes WebMD.com. This graph usually displays a range of heights along the top row or down the first column and weights on the perpendicular row or column. Use the steps below to read a BMI chart.
- Determine the height and weight
- Find the height on the BMI
- Find the weight on the BMI
- Look up the BMI
Use a tape measure or ruler to find the person's height in inches or feet and inches, depending on the BMI graph used. Use a scale to find the person's weight in pounds. Write this information down.
Look for the height row or column. Follow along it until finding the person's height. It may be necessary to pick an exact number, even if the person's height has a fraction.
Move down the person's height column or over the height row while looking at the weight ranges in the perpendicular section of the chart. Stop just at the closest weight to the person's weight. In this cell there is a BMI number.
Look up the BMI number. A number in the 19 to 24 range indicates a normal weight, states Rush.edu. A number between 25 to 29 is overweight, and a number between 30 to 39 indicates obesity.