BMI is body mass index. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height, the purpose of which is to assess the health risks associated with weight. It must be kept between 18.5 and 25. But is BMI, as it has been used since the 1980s, still a good indicator today? What are the BMI limits?

What is the point of calculating BMI?

BMI is used to diagnose certain diseases such as obesity. However, you have to take a step back in the calculation. In addition, the BMI does not indicate an ideal weight.

How do you calculate BMI?

We divide his weight (kilograms) by his height (in meters) squared.
For example, a person who weighs 60 kg and is 1.60 m tall:

BMI = weight (kg) / (height (m)2)

BMI = 60/1.60² = 60/2.56 = 23.44

How do you interpret your BMI?

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), there is an official classification according to the following table:

Classification according to WHO BMI value (in kg/m2)
underweight < 18.5
Severely underweight < 16.5
Slightly underweight 16.00 – 16.99
Slightly underweight 17.00 – 18.49
Normal construction 18.50 – 24.99
overweight ≥25.00
pre-obesity 25.00 – 29.99
obesity ≥ 30.00
Class I obesity 30.00 – 34.99
Class II obesity 35.00 – 39.99
Class III obesity ≥ 40.00


  • If the value obtained is less than 15: case of extreme thinness.

This can have serious health consequences and requires good medical supervision.

  • Between 16 and 19: slim build. However, there aren’t necessarily problems.
  • Between 20 and 25: The report is considered normal.
  • Between 25 and 29.9: Overweight, then moderately obese up to 35.
  • Between 35 and 40: severely overweight.
  • >40: morbid obesity. The risk of diseases and problems increases.

What are the benefits of calculating your BMI?

  • This is a simple calculation that requires only two elements: weight and height.
  • The BMI is a method with which you can determine if you are overweight.
  • It is internationally recognized.
  • Knowing your BMI can help you adopt new eating habits and improve your lifestyle.

What are the BMI limits?

  • BMI does not take into account the person’s history: his age, his weight, his gender, although the latter can have an influence. In fact, women naturally have more fat reserves than men.
  • The BMI does not allow an accurate determination of fat, bone or muscle mass. Even a very muscular person can have a high BMI without being obese.
  • It does not apply to all population groups (under 18 years old, children, pregnant women, athletes) and does not take into account the morphological differences of people from different countries. In Asian countries, people are generally Constitution very thin. The BMI can indicate an irrelevant slimness condition.
  • In addition, the ideal weight is also a question of feeling, not just calculation. BMI is just a calculated statistic. BMI does not indicate where fat is located. However, depending on where it is located, it is more or less dangerous. In addition, the distribution of body fat mass can vary from person to person.

Are there alternatives?

  • The Adipose Mass Index (IMA or Body Mass Index), which makes it possible to calculate hip or waist circumference. In fact, it is a good anthropometric indicator of adipose tissue. Belly fat correlates with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies and more generally with mortality risks. However, the limitation of waist circumference measurement is its accuracy, especially for people with extreme obesity.
  • The waist to hip ratio: by dividing the waist in cm by the hips in cm.
Male Women
Low risk Less than 0.95 Less than 0.80
Medium risk From 0.96 to 1 From 0.81 to 0.85
High risk More than 1 Over 0.85
  • Finally, beyond weight and BMI, measuring your weight with a is interesting peSe person impedancemeHis. In fact, it has the advantage of being able to measure Weight but also the body composition (muscle mass, fat mass, water mass, bone mass, etc.).

Finally theBMI is therefore one interesting tool to assess and monitor its weight, however, it may have certain limitations.

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Article written by Fitness Together

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