The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on a formula that calculates the ratio of your height and weight. Your BMI is an indicator of your appropriate weight for your height and is a more reliable indicator of body fat than just weight alone.*
If your BMI is above the normal range then you are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, losing weight and trying to keep your weight as near to normal as possible can help you manage the disease more effectively.
If you are trying to lose weight, the BMI can be a handy tool for helping you attain your weight loss goal. Use the chart below, to see where your weight falls now, whether in the normal, overweight or obese range. Then check the range of weights in the "normal weight" range. This is what you want to shoot for, to keep yourself on the right track. Sometimes with weight loss and exercise, diabetes medications can be reduced, or even eliminated, as your body becomes less insulin resistant.**
How to Read the BMI Chart
- Underweight: >18.5
- Normal: 18.5-24.9
- Overweight: 25-29.9
- Obese: 30.0 or 39.9
- Morbid obesity: 40 and higher
To calculate your BMI, use the chart below. Look for your height on the left-hand side and your current weight, going across. The number on the top of the chart that correlates to your weight is your BMI. If your number falls between 25 and 30, you are overweight. If the number is over 30, you are obese. If the number is over 40 then you are considered morbidly obese.
Some of the numbers may be rounded together due to space constraints. Find the number that most closely fits your height and weight.
*The BMI may overestimate body fat in those with muscular builds and underestimate body fat in older people, so it is not always an accurate way to assess for risk of diseases like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Also, some people with a normal BMI may still be at risk for these conditions if other risk factors are present.
**Never stop taking your medications without consulting your healthcare provider first.
(2008, June 20). Healthy Weight - It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle!. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/healthyweight/assessing/index.htm
Know Your BMI