Nowadays, Body Mass Index or BMI has become such a routine medical term that patients can recite their BMI off the top of their head as easily as if they were recalling their favorite color. BMI, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a tool used to determine whether an individual is at a healthy weight, given their weight and height.
It's also the most common way for medical professionals to screen for whether individuals are overweight or obese. Typically, doctors determine whether an individual is overweight or obese through BMI cutoffs or cut points.
- A BMI of less than (<) 18.5 indicates that the individual is underweight.
- Between 18.5 and 24.9 is the normal weight range for healthy adults.
- A BMI of 25 or greater (>) indicates that an individual is overweight.
- And 30 or greater (>) indicates that the individual is obese
But recent medical studies have shown that some of these BMI cutoffs may need to be reconsidered for certain populations — specifically, Asian Americans.