What is my body mass index (BMI)?

By: Bobbie Hasselbring

Your body mass index, or BMI for short, is one way for you and your healthcare team to assess how your weight affects your risk for disease. It's based on your weight without clothes and your height without shoes.

Here's how to figure out your BMI:
Your weight in pounds divided by
Your height in inches x your height in inches x 703 = Your BMI

You don't have to use this formula. Instead, you can use the table below.

Body Mass Index Chart

BMI:1920212223242526272829303132333435

Height (inches)
Body Weight (pounds)
589196100105110115119124129134138143148153158162167
599499104109114119124128133138143148153158163168173
6097102107112118123128133138143148153158163168174179
61100106111116122127132137143148153158164169174180185
62104109115120126131136142147153158164169175180186191
63107113118124130135141146152158163169175180186191197
64110116122128134140145151157163169174180186192197204
65114120126132138144150156162168174180186192198204210
66118124130136142148155161167173179186192198204210216
67121127134140146153159166172178185191198204211217223
68125131138144151158164171177184190197203210216223230
69128135142149155162169176182189196203209216223230236
70132139146153160167174181188195202209216222229236243
71136143150157165172179186193200208215222229236243250
72140147154162169177184191199206213221228235242250258
73144151159166174182189197204212219227235242250257265
74148155163171179186194202210218225233241249256264272
75152160168176184192200208216224232240248256264272279
76156164172180189197205213221230238246254263271279287


How Do I Know If My BMI Is Healthy?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:
  • A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered low risk for health problems. It indicates a healthy weight.
  • A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered moderate risk and overweight.
  • A BMI of 30 or greater is considered high risk and very overweight, or obese.
These standard guidelines may not apply to everyone. For instance, they do not apply to pregnant women or bodybuilders and may not be appropriate for the elderly. If you're not sure whether they apply to you, ask your doctor.

How Much Weight Do I Need to Lose?

If your BMI is 25 or higher, you can decrease your health risks by losing some weight. Losing even 5% to 10% can have a significant impact. The amount you need to lose to get your BMI below 25 depends on your height. Here are some examples:

If you are 5'5" and:

  • your BMI is 27, you need to lose 13 pounds to get your BMI below 25
  • your BMI is 30, you need to lose 31 pounds to get your BMI below 25

If you are 6' and:

  • your BMI is 27, you need to lose 16 pounds to get your BMI below 25
  • your BMI is 30, you need to lose 38 pounds to get your BMI below 25

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