BMI Chart for men, women and children – See and calculate your BMI
We all want to be at our healthiest, and that extends to future health. Incidentally, there are a number of ways you can get a feel for how healthy you’ll be in the future. You can look at your genetics, as sometimes your parents’ medical histories can affect yours. Of course, your lifestyle will play a huge part in your future health.
There’s an easier way to determine your present – and future – health. That is by measuring your BMI. Your body mass index is found via a simple calculation; everyone can do it. In this article, we’ll teach you how to find your body mass index, as well as:
- How your BMI can predict your health in the future
- What your body mass index says about your health now
- How men, women and children can chart BMI for optimal health
Are you ready to learn more? Let’s dive into BMI for men, women and children!
How to Calculate Your BMI
Finding your body mass index is easy. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re a man or a woman or even whether you’re finding the BMI of a child! It’s all calculated in the same way.
Here’s what you do:
First, you’ll find your weight in kilograms. It’s important that you measure in kilograms, because if you use pounds your result won’t be correct. You can use the scale at your doctor’s office, or simply convert your weight from pounds to kilograms using a calculator.
The next thing you’ll need is your height in meters. Again, it’s important that you take this measurement in metric – Imperial measurements like feet and inches won’t work! Make sure you measure your height accurately, too. Have a friend help you; stand with your feet against the wall, back straight. Then, have your friend mark a place on the wall that’s even with the crown of your head.
Once you have both measurements, the rest is easy. Just take your weight in kilograms and divide it by your height in meters. Then, divide by your height in meters once more. The result? Your BMI! It’s really that simple!
The BMI chart
Now that you’ve calculated your body mass index, you’ll want to know what to do with it, right? Well, that kind of depends on who you are. We’ll talk about kids a little bit later; for now, let’s assume that you’re a man or a woman between the ages of 20 and 65.
There’s a chart that doctors use to determine whether you’re in a healthy weight range or not. It’s called the BMI chart, and it’s very simple to understand. If your BMI is less than 18.5, you’re considered underweight. If it falls between 18.5 and 24.9, your weight is considered to be healthy. If it’s 25 to 29.9, you’re overweight. Finally, if your BMI is over 30, you’re considered obese.
As you can see, the BMI chart is very straightforward and easy to follow for adults. You may, however, have questions about BMI for children. The body mass index chart for kids is a little different than the chart for adults. Let’s take a look.
Is the BMI chart the same for men, women and children?
Men and women between the ages of 20 and 65 will use the same chart. The exception is pregnant women. In fact, pregnant women generally shouldn’t worry about their BMI at all, as pregnancy weight gain is normal and healthy. Talk to your obstetrician or midwife if you have any questions.
Kids’ BMI is calculated in exactly the same way as adults’ BMI is. There’s a difference in how that date is interpreted, though. Instead of using a BMI range (for instance, 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy), kids’ BMI will be put on a percentile chart.
So what does that mean? Well, because kids grow taller and heavier at different rates, doctors have determined that the safest way to chart body mass index is by comparing BMI to that of other children.
This comparison is called a percentile, and there are certainly healthy ranges for kids’ BMI percentiles. If your child’s BMI is in a lower percentile than the 5th, he or she is probably underweight. Be sure to talk with your doctor, as there may be developmental or nutritional concerns.
If your child’s body mass index is between the 5th and 85th percentile, he or she is growing normally! There usually aren’t any major health concerns within this range.
Finally, if your child’s BMI is over the 85th percentile, it’s a good idea to visit the doctor. The 85th to the 94th percentile is considered overweight, and the 95th and over is considered obese. Obesity in children is very dangerous, and may cause health problems both now and later in life.
What Does BMI Indicate?
As mentioned, your body mass index can be a great predictor of your present and your future health. People, both kids and adults, who are in a healthy BMI range are less likely to develop serious diseases that can be life threatening.
For example, a high BMI is a good predictor that you have, or will have, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As you may know, these can cause serious complications. Kids and adults with high body mass index are also more likely to have high blood sugar. That means a greatly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Heart attack, some cancers and stroke are further risks of a high body mass index. It’s very important to remember that these risks don’t only affect adults. Kids can have heart attacks, too! People of all ages who have a high BMI are also more likely to suffer joint pain, depression, have an increased risk of suicide and are more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder.
To put it simply, your body mass index is just a number, sure. But that number, no matter your age, can tell you a lot about your health. If your body mass index (or your child’s) is outside of the healthy range on the BMI chart, please talk to your doctor as soon as possible! Together, you can determine ways to bring that number back into a healthy range.
BMI for Special Populations
In truth, there aren’t too many “special populations” when considering body mass index. There are a few people who should talk to a physician about weight, however.
First of all, BMI is never used to determine the health of a baby. Children’s body mass index is measured using the chart beginning at age two. Until then, your doctor will use other measures like length, head circumference and more to make sure your infant is healthy.
Secondly, we already mentioned that pregnant women shouldn’t use the BMI chart. That said, if a woman was in a healthy BMI range prior to becoming pregnant, it’s more likely she’ll have a healthy pregnancy. Women of a healthy weight are less likely to suffer from preterm delivery, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and more.
Finally, adults over 65 may be considered a special population. It’s still generally considered okay to use the BMI chart if you’re an older adult. However, studies have shown that our bodies carry (and use) fat differently as we age. For that reason, your doctor may tell you that a BMI of 28 is perfectly healthy if you’re 72 years old.
As always, use common sense. If you think there may be something that’s affecting your weight, or may place you in a special population, you know what to do! Just talk to your doctor!
Where Can I Calculate My BMI?
The simplest place to calculate your BMI is right here, on this website! You’ll simply plug your measurements into the calculator, and you’ll have your BMI in no time at all. Once you have that information, you can determine whether you’re on the right track or whether you should consider some lifestyle changes for better health.
You can also find BMI calculators on most government health websites. Whether you’re in the United States or China, BMI is measured the same way. It’s weight in kilograms divided by height in meters, divided by height again.
If push comes to shove, you can always calculate your BMI on paper! Make sure your measurements are accurate, then just plug the numbers into the formula. Of course, it’s a little more work this way, but the result is the same!
No matter where you calculate your BMI, whether it be online or on paper, be sure to keep up with it. Your BMI can change, and even a ten pound weight gain can put you into a different BMI range on the chart.
Can My BMI Predict My Future Health?
In a word, yes! Your body mass index is a great indicator of your future health. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with the number.
There are a number of factors which can affect your weight, and you may not even realize it. A change in diet, of course, can significantly impact your weight. Be mindful of sticking to a healthy diet, filled with nutrient rich foods, fibers and low in fat and processed foods.
You probably also know that the amount of exercise you get can affect your body mass index. But that’s not just limited to your time spent jogging or hitting the gym. Even making the switch from an active job, like nursing or construction, to a more sedentary one can cause fluctuations in your weight and your body mass index.
Environmental changes, like stress or lack of sleep can affect your body mass index. Hormonal imbalance can change your weight and your BMI as can something as simple as a schedule change.
Periodically checking your body mass index will help ensure that you’re in the best health possible, and that your health remains good for years to come.
Where is your place in the BMI chart?
Now that you know how to calculate your body mass index, where is your place on the BMI chart? Are you in a healthy range, or might your body mass index need a little work? There are simple steps everyone can take to maintain a healthy weight, regardless of age.
Physical activity is critical to maintaining a healthy BMI. That doesn’t mean you have to join a gym and become a weightlifter. Just wearing a pedometer and walking 10,000 steps per day is usually a good start for most people.
Be sure your diet is healthy. As mentioned, you’ll want to stick with the foods that are nutrient-rich, avoiding empty calories and sugar-filled snacks. Fast food should be avoided as much as possible. And be sure you keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. Alcohol adds many calories to your diet, even though you are just drinking it!
There are many other ways you can be proactive in keeping your BMI within a healthy range. Why not take up a hobby like fishing or hiking? Or consider joining a club which allows you to play golf with others – even just mall walking is a great way to burn calories and keep your BMI in check.
Overall, your body mass index is a great way to make sure that you’re in the best possible health. Managing your body mass index is as simple as controlling your weight, no matter your age! Once you’ve found your body mass index on the chart, take the steps you need to ensure you stay in that healthy range.