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What is BMI?

You’ve probably heard about Body Mass Index (BMI), whether from talking to a medical professional or fitness trainer about weight, or reading about it in a magazine article or blog post.

However, you may not know exactly what BMI is or how you can determine yours. Read on to find out more about how you can use BMI to gauge your health and set weight loss goals.

A Screening Tool

The defining characteristic of both overweight and obese people is excess body fat. BMI is a measurement (though not a direct measure) of body fat based on your height and weight, and it can help determine whether you are at a healthy weight.

BMI is considered to be a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, since research has shown that it correlates to direct measures of body fat. This makes BMI one of the most common measurements used to determine if a person is overweight or obese.

Calculating BMI

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches squared), and then multiplying by 703. See a simple calculation example here. Use our BMI calculator to quickly and easily calculate your own BMI.

BMI calculations are categorized as follows:

  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered within the normal, healthy range.
  • Between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • 30 or more is considered obese.
  • 40 or more is considered extremely obese.

While each person has an “ideal” BMI, it’s important to remember that BMI is a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool. Since it doesn’t take other important information into consideration, such as body composition and lifestyle, BMI is a great starting point.

However, you’ll want a medical professional to perform additional assessments, like taking family history and measuring skinfold thickness, to determine if you’re at an unhealthy weight.

Next Steps

Our Dallas Bariatric Center patients often have a BMI at or above 30, which is too high for optimum health. If your BMI is 30 or more, you may want to consider bariatric weight loss surgery to help you get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

If you would like more information about your bariatric surgery options in Dallas, Texas, sign up for a free informational consultation at the Dallas Bariatric Center today. Dr. Jay and his team look forward to helping you on your weight loss journey.

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