What is a BMI?

what is BMI

Most of us learn about the BMI chart in health class and our first experience is either apathy or shock but what exactly is a BMI and how important is it to know where we fall on it?

Meaning of BMI

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it is a form of Anthropometry, which is the science that defines physical measures of a person's size. There are many forms of anthropometry and each one has it own purpose and its own set of benefits and shortcomings. The same applies to the BMI.

Types of Anthropometry:

Scale Skinfold Thickness Waist to Hip Circumference Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Air Displacement Plethysmography (BOD POD)

The body mass index takes into account your height and weight, and assigns you a number that indicates the likelihood that your weight will increase your chances of disease. This chart is often used to help people set weight goals that are appropriate for them.

Benefits and Shortcomings

For the most part and for most people, a BMI chart, can let you know if you are overweight or underweight and that can help with making a decision to change your body composition. One of the issues with the BMI is that it doesn't differentiate between body types, for example: two men can have the same height and weight but one can be visibly overweight while the other one can be a fit body builder. So the chart can't always tell if a person's weight is good or bad for them.

Knowing your BMI is a good start towards getting healthy and it gives you a baseline number of what to aim for but there are many other factors at play. It's important to take a well-rounded approach to good health.

Calculating your BMI

There is a formula for determining your BMI, you can use an online calculator, or just check out a chart.


Weight in kg/height in meters squared = BMI


Underweight - Below 18.5 Normal - 18.5–24.9 Overweight - 25.0–29.9 Obesity - 30.0 and Above

Chart Calculator

Knowing where you fall on the BMI can be a very helpful tool in your journey to health but it helps to know that it is not the only tool at your disposal! I hope that this post helps you get a better understanding of the body mass index :) if it did please give it a like and share it :)

Further Reading: