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How to Calculate BMI for Adult Men & Women

acupuncture for healthy weight loss


The BMI score is one of the quickest and easiest methods of determining whether you need to gain or lose weight and improve your lifestyle.

What is BMI (Body Mass Index)?

BMI is often used for population assessment of overweight and obesity rates. Major health authorities such as the CDC and NIH believe it is a ‘fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people.’ BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat. BMI appears to be as strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcome. In general, BMI is an inexpensive and simple method of screening for weight category.

How to Calculate BMI

The BMI calculation is based on the formulas:

weight (kg) / [height (m)]2  or  weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703


Imperial System:

lbs (your weight)÷ inches ÷ inches (your height) x 703

weight (lbs) ÷ [height (inch) x height (inch)] x 703

Metric System: weight (kg) ÷ [height (m) x height (m)]


Weight = 160 lbs and Height = 5’8″ (68″)

BMI Calculation = [160 ÷ (68 x 68)] x 703 = 24.3 OR 160 ÷ 68 ÷ 68 x 703 = 24.3

The Body Mass Index Score is 24.3 (Normal Category)

Body Mass Index Categories For Men & Women

The standard weight status categories associated with BMI ranges for adults are shown in the following table.

BMI Score Weight Classification
Below 18.5 Under Weight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 –  29.9 Overweight
30.0 + Obese

How Accurate Is BMI?

In general, 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. It has some possible limitations.

  • MALE & FEMALE: There is a significant difference in body composition between the men and women. Women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat. At the same BMI score, women tend to have more body fat than men.
  • AGE: At the same BMI score, older people, on average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults.
  • HEIGHT: The BMI score exaggerates obesity in taller people and thinness in shorter people. For example, a 6ft-7in tall man who weighs 230 lbs is classified as ‘overweight’ according to the BMI scale (= 26). In contrast, a 4ft-11in person who weighs 120 lbs has a BMI of 24.2 and is classified as ‘normal’ weight even though they may be overweight in real terms.
  • ATHLETES: BMI is usually NOT used for bodybuilders or professional athletes. That’s because at the same BMI, athletes have less body fat than non-athletes.

Healthy Weight Loss

People who have obesity are at increased risks for many diseases and health conditions. It is common for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But studies show that quick weight loss results are not long lasting and may even be damaging to your health. The studies also show that people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss is not about a “specific diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.

Losing weight is not easy, and it takes commitment. But if you’re ready to get started, contact a trained healthcare provider or natural weight loss specialist to help get you on the road to weight loss and better health. People seeking to address their weight concerns are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss.


Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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