Heart & Vascular Health | Heart Healthy Living

Know Your Body Mass Index

See where you fall on the BMI scale around the world

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Obesity is a common problem in the United States and in recent years has grown to be a worldwide problem. Obesity is linked to a few factors:

So, how do you know if you are obese? Body mass index (BMI) is a mathematical formula that factors a person’s height and weight in determining obesity. It may be less accurate for athletes who have more muscle mass or older persons who have lost muscle mass.

Calculate and compare your BMI

Now, you can check out how your BMI stacks up against other people from around the world. The BBC has posted a BMI calculator that provides your BMI compared to the country you live in and the world. Visit the BBC to calculate your BMI.

Cleveland Clinic’s Katherine Patton, RD, Preventive Cardiology dietitian, says this about the body mass index tool, “It is interesting to analyze how your BMI ranks against fellow Americans compared to adults of the same gender and age range across the world—especially considering that the U.S. has the highest rate of obesity for developed nations.” 

Understand what your BMI number means

You have calculated your BMI — but what does that number mean exactly? Use the points below to determine if your BMI is within a healthy or unhealthy range.

  • Underweight BMI:  Less than 18.5
  • Ideal BMI:  18.5-25
  • Overweight BMI:  25-30
  • Obese BMI:  30-40
  • Very Obese BMI:  Greater than 40

More information

Where are you on the global fat scale?
Overweight and Heart Disease
High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Tags: body mass index, heart disease, obesity, prevention, risk factors
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  • Carla Sanchez

    There’s something wrong with your BMI numbers there. Sorry, but 30-40 is not obese, unless your very short. Height, weight and age all play a role in the meaning of your BMI….otherwise, at my 36%, I would not be allowed to remain in the military!