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See what your index predicts

But first, what is BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is simply a measure of body weight relative to height.

It's of much more use to sedentary folks, than those who are already fit. In fact, I seldom pay much attention to mine.

But if you're like Al, and have allowed life to dictate, it might very well be that you find yourself out-of-shape. If so, it's probably wise to sit up and take note.

Body Mass Index is 'meant' to indicate whether or not you're maintaining a healthy weight, based on your weight-height ratio. It acts as an arbitrary predictor of the risk of disease and death.

As the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity points out, "BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual."

BMI is intended for use by both men and women, although it does have limitations (as we'll discuss below).

How to calculate BMI (via the Quetelet method)

The formula was created by Belgian Mathematician Adolphe Quetelet during the 1830’s. It proposes an 'index' by taking an individual’s body weight and dividing this value by the person’s height-squared (kg ÷ m2).

For example, an adult weighing 76kg, whose height is 1.77m – will have a BMI of 24.3. This is shown in the following calculation:

BMI = 76 kg ÷ (1.77 m) 2 = 24.3

You can also use the tool below to calculate your BMI, and see which weight classification applies to you. (Scores are only applicable to adults of 20 years or more.)