You may have seen the new guidelines just out this week urging physicians to screen all adults for obesity. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says doctors should calculate their patients’ BMIs (Body Mass Index) during checkups and if they are obese, refer them for intensive diet and fitness help. Good news, right? Even better, you can be proactive in all this.
Instead of waiting on someone else to do the math, why not calculate your BMI yourself and talk to your doctor about it? Here’s a refresher in case you need it.
What is BMI?
BMI is a number calculated based on your height and weight and is a fairly reliable way to measure body fat for most people. It uses these categories:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
It’s easy to find out your BMI using this handy calculator.
But if you prefer formulas, knock yourself out with this:
weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5″ (65″)
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.
Either way, the goal is the same – be at a healthy weight.