Women

BMI for Women

On average, women have higher BMI than men. However, this is because women naturally tend to have more body fat than men. Women can have more body fat than men and be just as healthy. This calculator allows you to have a higher BMI and still be considered healthy.

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Men

BMI for Men

Men have lower body mass index than women on average. This means that if a man and a woman have the same BMI, the woman is probably healthier. This calculator calculates your BMI and your body fat percentage assuming that you are male.

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BMI Chart

What is a BMI Chart?

The body mass index chart gives you the ranges for each weight category. Use the BMI calculator to calculate your BMI and look it up on this chart.

BMI Chart

BMI Category
under 15 Very severely underweight
15 to 16 Severely underweight
16 to 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 25 Healthy weight
25 to 30 Overweight
30 to 35 Moderately obese
35 to 40 Severely obese
over 40 Very severely obese

What is BMI

BMI, or body mass index, is a metric to compare your weight with the healthy weights for your height. BMI is calculated as your weight divided by the square of your height. A BMI score of 18.5 to 25 is considered healthy. Anything lower is considered underweight and anything higher is considered overweight. BMI is often used as a starting point to figure out how healthy you are.

History

The body mass index was invented by Adolphe Quetelet in the 1830s. Quetelet was a Belgian mathematician and physicist. BMI was originally called the “Quetelet Index.” In the late 1900s, physicians started noticing a correlation between high body weight and early mortality. They searched for a measure of weight and decided that the Quetelet Index was the best option. In 1972, Ancel Keys published a paper that popularized the term “body mass index.” Today, BMI is still widely used as an indicator of health.

Weight Categories

There are several different BMI charts that account for age, sex, and ethicity. The standard BMI chart by the World Health Organization (WHO) considers a healthy BMI to be between 18.5 and 25. Additional weight categories for the standard BMI chart can be found on our BMI chart page.

Age, Sex, and Ethnicity

The healthy BMI range varies by demographics. For example, women have tend to have a higher BMI than men. This is because women naturally have more body fat than men on average. A woman can have a slightly higher BMI and still be just as healthy. There is a similar discrepancy with ethicity. People in Eastern countries tend to have less body fat than people in Western countries. Therefore, Eastern BMI charts are adjusted so that the BMI categories have lower weights.

The BMI chart by WHO was designed for adults age 20 to 65. Children tend to have a lower BMI than adults, so WHO’s BMI chart will not accurately assess their weight. Since children’s BMI vary greatly with age, it’s common to compare a child’s BMI with the average BMI for their age. Here is a graph showing the average BMI for children.

Interpreting Your BMI

An unhealthy BMI can be an indicator of many health problems. A high BMI increases risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Several types of cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Liver problems

For a more accurate assessment of your health, we recommend that you consult a licensed physician.

Limitations

Your BMI may not accurately reflect your actual state of health. Your weight and height are not enough to determine how healthy you are. For example, body builders have a very high BMI because of their muscle mass. On a BMI chart, they will be considered “overweight.” However, body builders usually have a much lower body fat percentage than other people with the same BMI. Therefore, they are much more healthy than most people with the same BMI.

If you enter your age and sex in our BMI calculator, we will also calculate your body fat percentage. Your body fat percentage, combined with your BMI, gives you a more accurate assessment of your health.

Calculate Your BMI

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What is BMI

BMI is short for body mass index. BMI is a way of comparing your weight to the healthy weight for your height. BMI is a standard metric defined by the World Health Organization.

A healthy BMI is from 18.5 to 25. Anything lower suggests that you are underweight and anything higher suggests that you are overweight. BMI is correlated with how much body fat you have. If you are severely underweight or overweight, you should consult a doctor for a more accurate body fat test.

BMI is used because it’s very easy to calculate, you simply enter your height and weight into your BMI calculator. However, BMI isn’t as accurate as the body fat tests done by your doctor. Your BMI may not accurately reflect your level of health. For example, women tend to have a higher BMI than men because women have more body fat on average. This means that women can have a higher-than-average BMI and still be healthy. Athletes also have higher than average BMI, but that’s because of muscles, not fat. Nevertheless, BMI is a good starting point to figure out how healthy you are.

Our BMI calculator uses the standard BMI formula: mass divided by height squared. There are specialized calculators for men and women. There are also other BMI calculators that use your body surface area or waist circumference, but most people don’t know these metrics.

If you like our BMI calculator, share it on social media or link to it on your website!

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