BMI: Understand Your Body Mass Index

BMI helps determine how your weight affects your health

Do you know your BMI?  Your BMI, or body mass index, is a number that will help you determine how your weight affects your overall health. It is not a direct measurement of body fat.  It is a tool that can be used by you and your health care provider to see if your weight puts you at higher risk for certain diseases or early death.

How to Calculate BMI

BMI is calculated using your height and weight. To determine your BMI, use the formula below or use the North Memorial Health Calculator to figure it out for you.

BMI formula:  weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

You can also get your BMI checked at the Minnesota State Fair.  You’ll find the North Memorial booth at the corner of Dan Patch and Cooper Streets inside the HealthFair11 building.  Children and teens can check their BMI scores at the Centers for Disease Control website.

What Does Your BMI Mean?

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 falls into the overweight category and a number over 30 is considered obese.  If your BMI falls in the overweight or obese categories your weight may put you at higher risk for chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea or stroke.

If you determine that your body mass index is too high, talk to your health care provider.  Together you can discuss your family health history, diet, and physical activity level. You might find that simple changes to your daily habits can make a big difference in your overall health and wellness.

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