BMI is defined as an acronym for Body Mass Index, a calculation used to estimate body fat and to determine whether or not a subject is at a healthy weight.
- BMI is a number calculated from a person's height and weight.BMI does not measure body fat; but, it is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness.
- People with a BMI over 30 are considered obese since they are typically about 30 pounds over their ideal weight for their height.
- Those with a BMI of 40 or more are considered morbidly obese, although some doctors apply this label to people with a BMI of 35 or above who also have obesity-related medical conditions that substantially affect their quality of life.
- BMI is not a diagnostic tool to determine health risk. Other assessments would be needed such as skinfold thickness measurement, diet evaluation, physical activity review and family history.
- BMI calculations alone can be somewhat misleading. Race, sex, age, and ethnicity are not taken into account when making the basic calculations.
- Statistics may be somewhat inflated when dealing with athletes and others who have a high muscle mass, since muscle simply weighs more than an equivalent amount of fat.
- BMI calculations are often artificially low when working with the elderly and those who have lost body mass.
An example of BMI is a BMI of 30 which is considered overweight.