What Should You Know About the BMI Chart for Women?

What Should You Know About the BMI Chart for Women?

What Should You Know About the BMI Chart for Women?

BMI stands for body mass index and is calculated using a person’s height and weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although BMI is not a direct measurement of body fat, it is a reliable indicator of body fat levels in both men and women.

BMI is a helpful tool in identifying when an individual falls into a weight category that may present a higher risk of health problems. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool, explains the CDC. To determine whether excess weight is a health risk, doctors need to perform further evaluation. For example, diet, physical activity and family history are all relevant to a person’s overall health regardless of BMI.

In some cases, BMI may not be a reliable indicator of body fat, the CDC states. For instance, an athlete may have more lean muscle mass. While the athlete may have a high BMI and technically be considered overweight, he does not have a high percentage of body fat. However, most people with a high BMI do have excess body fat.

A standard BMI calculator is used to interpret BMI for both men and women over 20 years old. The BMI calculator for children and teens is sex- and age-specific. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy, says the CDC. A number lower or higher than this usually means that the individual’s weight is in an unhealthy range, and consultation with a doctor is appropriate.