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What is BMI and how is it calculated?

Article Guide:

BMI Overview:

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to categorize individuals into weight classes that may indicate increased risk for health concerns. BMI is a well-used screening method for weight category and, along with other health metrics like waist measurement, deeming individuals underweight, health weight, overweight or obese.

Question + Answer:

  • What Is BMI?
    • Answer: Body Mass Index, which measures an individual’s body mass.
  • How is it calculated?
    • Answer: BMI is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight (kg) by their height (m2).
  • What are the risk factors for having a BMI that is out of range?
    • Answer: If an individual’s BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may be significantly increased. Increased weight can lead to multiple health conditions, such as Type II Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease. Additionally, a BMI that is deemed underweight can increase risk of malnutrition, osteoporosis and anemia.
  • Is BMI an accurate indicator of weight categories?
    • Answer: Factors like: age, sex, ethnicity and muscle mass are not taken into account when calculating BMI. This may make some BMI classifications less accurate, but many studies show that a person’s risk of chronic disease and premature death does increase with a BMI lower that 18.5 or higher than 30.
  • What makes me lose points for my BMI score?
    • Answer: Individuals who find themselves in the Overweight or Obese category, will lose points from their health score. BMI not only calculates for overweight risks, but also, underweight. That being said, if an individual is below a healthy weight for their height they will also lose points towards their total biometric screening score. Being underweight brings forth health concerns as well.           
  • What are the BMI category thresholds?
    • Answer: Here is a chart to display the BMI categories.



Below 18.5



Healthy Weight





  • How can I improve my BMI?
    • Answer: Consider the range in which you fall into and whether or not it’s within a healthy range. If you’re in an unhealthy category, consider talking to your primary care provider to arrange a plan of action towards improving your results. HealthCheck360 offers free inbound health coaching to work with participants on things such as, healthy nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes. To schedule a call with a health coach, you can contact our support team by email (support@healthcheck360.com) or call 866-511-0360 ext 5099.

BMI Sources:

BMI Chart 

Locate your height in inches on the left side of the chart, then look up top to find your body weight in pounds. After locating those two values see whether the results correspond to an underweight, normal weight, overweight or obesity category.

Additional Sources for BMI