Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of whether you are a healthy weight compared to your height. This is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 – 24.9 range. You can check your BMI by putting your height and weight into the following calculator:
Assessments of obesity are important as your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease are increased from being obese or overweight. For most adults BMI is a good estimate of obesity.
However, there are some situations where BMI may not be a suitable measurement:
Children and those aged over 60
Weight trainers and athletes who are very muscular
Ethnicity – Some Asian groups have a higher risk of health problems with lower BMI results.
Alongside BMI, waist circumference is a useful measure of your risk of developing health problems. A high waist circumference is linked to coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Waist circumference is measured by finding the halfway point between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. Place the tape measure firmly around your waist and measure as you are breathing out.
Regardless of BMI result, you are at risk of developing health problems if your waist circumference is: