The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple method, which is used to calculate if you are at a healthy weight for your height. It is a useful measure if you are an adult over the age of 18. However, it’s good to be aware there are a couple of limitations to the BMI calculator, for example:
- If you are an adult with an athletic build, the BMI calculator could indicate that you may be overweight. This is most likely not to be the case, as muscle weighs more than fat. Unfortunately the limitation of the BMI calculator means that this is not taken into account.
- If you’re pregnant, the BMI calculator will not apply to you. Therefore, you should seek advice from your GP or Midwife on the healthy weight for your condition.
BMI of less than 18.5: Underweight
If your BMI is less than 18.5, you may be underweight. It’s really important to avoid being underweight especially as you get older, so you should aim to remain within your healthy weight range.
Being underweight can affect your ability to fight infection and recover from illness. It can also severely weaken your muscles, including your heart. If you feel you are underweight, or are losing weight without trying, please talk to your doctor or health professional as soon as you can.
BMI of between 18.5 – 25: Healthy
If your BMI is between 18.5 and 25, you are likely to be a healthy weight for your height. As a further measure, we also recommend you check your waist measurement to ensure that you are indeed within the healthy zone.
Aim to keep within the ideal weight range by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise. The minimum level of physical activity that is recommended for adults is 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
BMI of between 25 – 30: Overweight
If your BMI is between 25 and 30, you are likely to be overweight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease, as well as other health conditions such as diabetes. Keeping to a healthy weight is crucial to helping you control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
In order to reduce your weight and reduce your BMI, you should aim to eat fewer calories and to increase your level of exercise. The minimum level of physical activity that is recommended for adults is 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
BMI of over 30: Very overweight
If your BMI is over 30, you are likely to be very overweight. As your BMI increases, your risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes and some cancers significantly increases. Therefore, it is important that you take immediate steps to start reducing your weight.
The great news is that even losing small amounts of weight can benefit your health. You should aim to exercise more and eat and drink fewer calories. The minimum level of physical activity that is recommended for adults is 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
If your BMI is over 35, try and see your local GP who can advise you on additional options available to you, to help you start losing weight.