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Body Mass Index

Where does your weight range fall?  From the U.S. National Library of Medicine, here's a scale that you can use, using just a pen and paper, or a calculator.

Weigh yourself without clothes or shoes (we won't look.)  Write down the pounds.

If you don't know how tall you are, have someone help you measure in inches without shoes on.  Half inches count as .5.  If you are 5 feet and 5 1/2 inches, you would use 65.5.

Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
Divide this number by your height in inches.
Divide it a second time by your height in inches.
Write down the result.  This is your BMI. With some exceptions (see below), if your score is:

  • Below 18.5 you are underweight.
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 you have a healthy body weight.
  • Between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight.  *(See note)
  • Between 30 and 39.9 you are obese.
  • At 40 or higher you are morbidly obese.


  • This scale will not work at all with children.
  • If you are a body builder, or otherwise very muscular, your BMI may be a little higher (don't cheat!)
  • Over 65, you a probably healthier with a BMI of 25 or slightly higher.
  • Ever heard the excuse, "I've got big bones." to explain a higher number on the scale?  If your frame is much heavier or smaller, it may affect your healthy BMI by a small amount.  But let's keep it real.  Check frame size here.
  • Women with a large bust and hip measurement, but a small waist and very little belly fat, can have a somewhat higher healthy BMI score.
  • Since we are all built differently, check your waist measurement also to help gauge your healthy size.

Why is it so important to control your weight?  A healthy weight can help control or avoid diabetes, heart problems, circulatory disease, joint wear and tear, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and varicose veins.  Even some cancers are more probable, and harder to diagnose, if you are significantly overweight.  You will also have much more energy, you'll look better and your clothing will fit sharper at a normal weight. 

The best method to lose weight is to do it slowly, and while eating a healthy, nutritious diet you enjoy.  Starving or crash diets, laxatives, purging, diet pills and other drastic remedies can do almost as much damage to your health as being somewhat overweight.









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