bmi orange black dice blocksBMI has been used for many decades to provide insight into whether your body is average, below or above what it should be in terms of weight and height. However, in recent years health professionals have questioned whether it still serves as a good a judge of health. Find out how to calculate your BMI and decide whether it’s an effective measure of your health or not.

What is It?

BMI stands for body mass index and rates your body according to height and weight. Each person has a unique BMI score and you can decipher what it means based on the following general guidelines:




30 and above—obese

Use this BMI calculator to determine yours or use this chart, which may be familiar to you as it’s often seen in doctors’ offices. But don’t let this be an end all be all of your health assessment. There are many reasons why health professionals are questioning BMI calculations.

For example, the calculator and chart take only height and weight into consideration, which leaves out weight attributed to muscle, which is heavier than weight from fat. The BMI of a shorter person who is built from weightlifting will not be accurate because most of their weight comes from muscle. Similarly, a tall person who is thin simply because they have a naturally fast metabolism, not because of regular exercise or a good diet, will have a good BMI despite eating and living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Though you can start your health assessment with this calculation, rely on other methods to get a truly accurate picture of your health. Head to a local gym where a personal trainer can measure your body fat percentage, waist circumference and more. These assessments are quick and easy and will provide important insight into how healthy you truly are. For example, a large waist circumference, excessive abdominal fat, is an indicator of potential diabetes and other weight-related issues.

If you’re unsure of how your body weight and health measures up, seek help from a trainer, dietician or nutritionist who can work with you to determine where you’re falling short and where you’re excelling to make a plan to get healthier.