Your Body Mass Index, commonly abbreviated BMI is a number that is gathered using data like a person’s height and weight. BMI is usually used to determine whether a person is overweight, but the calculation does not measure body fat. However, the correlation between BMI and body fat is very accurate. Measure a person’s Body Mass Index is a straightforward procedure and does not require any specialized equipment or tools, and this simple screening can determine if a person is overweight, or may become overweight, which can help to prevent future health problems associated with that condition.

**What Are BMI Calculations Used For?**BMI is measured so that those over the age of twenty can be screened for potential obesity problems and to give a person an indicator of where they fall when it comes to weight. One thing to keep in mind is that although the Body Mass Index number can determine whether or not a person is overweight or obese, it is not a diagnosis and if your BMI is high you should consult with your doctor in order to determine what exactly the problem is and how it can be resolved, as well as any other health problems that may be related to being overweight or obese.

**Alternatives to BMI**There are more ways to measure someone’s body fat percentage, or get an indication of what their situation is than just using BMI. One measurement that used to be used in schools is to use the thickness of certain folds of skin. Calipers were used to grab a section of skin and measure it. Also, there is a method of weighing underwater that is quite effective and some of the other measurements include bioelectrical impedance, DXA and isotope dilution. However, these methods are often not practical because they are either expensive or require specially trained medical personnel, or in many cases both.

**How to Calculate BMI?**Although the BMI measurement is most accurate in adults aged twenty or older, it can be used for children. The calculation is the same no matter what the age of the subject is. Here is a step by step set of instructions for calculating BMI in pounds and inches. First, divide the person’s weight (in pounds) by the height (in inches) squared and then multiply it by 703. So, if a person were 150 pounds and they were five feet, five inches tall, or sixty five inches, their BMI number would come out to be 24.96. For those aged twenty and older, BMI uses the same weight categories (obese, grossly obese, etc.) and is the same across the board for any age and for both genders. However, when calculating for children, the BMI is different depending upon the age of the child or teenager and is also gender specific.

**Use The BMI Formula below or**

**Pick your BMI value from this Graph **

**How to Know What Your BMI Means?**

The BMI results are divided into four categories with the first being normal. However, it should be noted that although no matter how thin the person is with the BMI in the normal category, being too thin can be as unhealthy as being overweight. That being said, the normal range is anywhere between nineteen and twenty four. Then, the overweight categories begins, with a BMI of 25. The overweight category ranges all the way to 29 and then at 30 moves into obese territory. A person that has a BMI anywhere from 30 to 39 is considered obese and any number higher than 39 is considered extremely obese, or grossly obese on some charts.