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Know Your BMI

Knowing your body mass index or BMI is one of the best ways to predict if you or your child is at risk for weight-related health conditions. While BMI alone can’t diagnose obesity, the number gives a reliable estimate for how much of your body is made up of fat. A BMI within the overweight or obese weight status can indicate a higher risk for health problems, including heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about your BMI or your child’s BMI.

The following table shows BMI numbers and weight statuses for adults.

BMI

Weight Status

Below 18.5

Underweight

18.5 – 24.9

Healthy

25.0 – 29.9

Overweight

30.0 and Above

Obese

Source: CDC

The CDC has easy-to-use calculators to figure out a BMI for you and your children. For adults, all you need to know before using the calculator is your weight and height. Figuring out weight status for children works a bit differently because the amount of body fat changes with age and also differs between girls and boys. To calculate BMI for children, you also need to know sex, birth date and the date of the height and weight measurements used in the calculation.

Please talk to your health care provider to find out more about your or your child’s BMI and what actions your family can take for the best possible health.
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