Skip to Main Content

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) may be a helpful indicator for body fat, based on a height/weight ratio. Your doctor may consider BMI as one way to know if you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery. BMI is not a determination of health, although it may indicate a weight category that can lead to health problems such as:
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain cancers

How to Use the BMI Calculator

  1. Enter your height and weight into the calculator and select Calculate.
  2. Compare your result to the National Institute of Health table:
    Adult BMI Category
    Below 18.5 Underweight
    18.5 – 24.9 Normal
    25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
    30.0 and above Obese
You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if your BMI is equal to or over 40. Or you may also benefit from bariatric surgery if BMI is lower but you have obesity-related health conditions.

Calculator Limitations

The BMI calculator is a helpful tool for most women and men, with the following exceptions:
  • Athletes with a muscular build may show exaggerated BMI
  • Older people or people who have lost muscle may show lower BMI
  • Different interpretations apply for children and teens than adults
Please talk with your doctor if you feel like the BMI calculator is not an accurate measure of body fat.

Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.

Find a Doctor

Need a doctor for your care?

Sign Up for Health Tips

Get our advice and upcoming events about weight, pain, heart and more.