BMI History:

In the 20th century, medical studies began to show a link between weight and an early death. So the Medical Science along with insurance companies made an effort to find an easy method to determine someone’s body-fat percentage.

In 1972 physiology researcher Ancel Keys published a study called “Indices of Relative Weight and Obesity:” BMI came out of this study. It is important to note that BMI does not differentiate between fat and muscles so if you are above the standard and have muscles instead of fat it will still consider you ‘overweight’.

What does BMI reveal?

Generally gives you an idea on how fit you are and how much overweight is your body and what are your risks to life threatening diseases.

BMI: What does it stands for?

BMI abbreviations mean:

  • Body
  • Mass
  • Index

What is it used for?

It is used to relate ones ‘Weight’ with ‘Height’. In simple terms it helps you determine that based on your height are you:

  1. Over Weight: Generally means your ‘Calorie’ intake is more than what is required
  2. Under Weight: Under Weight means you are taking less calories per day than what is required for your height.
  3. Normal Weight: You are taking the right amount of calories based on your height

So it not only gives you an idea about your:

  1. Weight
  2. Your Body Fat
  3. Calorie Intake – Level of Nourishment

Based on BMI you can calculate your Daily Calories:

After relating weight with height it gives a ‘Number’. Generally higher the number the more body fat you have. Doctors in hospitals use this number to determine your risk for health problems such as:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Cancer
  4. High Blood pressure

Nourishment Experts use this number to determine:

  • Your Daily Calorie intake
  • Your Diet Chart
  • Your Eating Habits

And use the readings to guide a proper Daily/Weekly/Monthly meal plan.

Gym Instructors or Physical Trainers use this number to determine:

  • Type of Exercise you need

How is BMI Calculated?

  • Divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters:
  • BMI equation is equal to:

– Metric Formula:  Weight (Kg) / Height (m)2

– Imperial Formula: (Weight in Pounds * 703) / Height in Inches

An example of calculation by metric method:

  • Weight = 68
  • Height = 5 foot 10 inches
  • First step is to convert foot and inches into meters
  • 1 Feet = 0.3048 meters
  • 1 Inch= 0.025 meters
  • For 5 feet = 5*0.3048 = 1.524 meters + 10 inches* 0.025 = 1.774 meter
  • BMI* =   68 / (1.774) 2 = 21.60*

* If you use a calculator which has a square function – divide weight (kg) by height (cm) squared and if needed to round to one decimal place, multiply by 10,000.

* If the calculator does not have a square function – divide weight by height twice as shown in the calculation formula above and if needed to round to one decimal place, multiply by 10,000.

General Criteria:

  • Underweight = BMI less than 18.5
  •  Normal weight = BMI between 18.5 & 24.9)
  •  Overweight = BMI between 25.0 & 29.9
  •  Obese = BMI 30.0 and above

BMI Chart  

Based on BMI formula and the general criteria discussed above a chart has been developed that can help you give a relationship between weight and height and the ‘General Criteria’ applied to that relationship. Therefore, one can check that relationship by relating their ‘weight’ to their ‘height’ in the table and finding the BMI number without calculating it through formula, and check for the ‘Colour’ of the number on chart to see which of the four categories they fall into.



The published content is only for information purposes, therefore, it should not be construed as a final health and fitness advice. Even if the content is correct the readers and/or users are advised to seek professional medical advice. Never ignore or delay a professional medical advice because of something you have read.

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