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Calculate BMI

The body mass index (BMI) is a common tool for deciding whether your body weight is within the normal range. Foodpal's BMI calculator measures your weight in relation to your height. Enter your gender, age, height and body weight and find out now for free which BMI value is calculated for you and which BMI range is optimal for you.

To calculate your BMI, we need the following information:


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Important notes on BMI

It is important to note that the body mass index is intended to be used as a general tool for determining a healthy body weight. Basically, BMI assumes a "normal" body weight for men and women of average height and fitness or activity level. Several problems arise with this method, which are listed below:

  • The "normal" portion is used for all body sizes and weights, even though not everyone has the same body type.
  • Even though taller people tend to be thinner on average, their greater bone mass tends to skew their BMI toward slightly larger values.
  • High muscle mass can lead to a higher BMI because muscle is denser than fat, and therefore someone with a lot of muscle mass can weigh the same as someone with high body fat for the same height.
  • In reality, people's "normal" body weights vary by age, gender, and population.

So it's important to keep all of this in mind when trying to understand your BMI value, and you should also talk to a doctor or nutritionist before embarking on any new fitness routine or diet. One last thing dz should remember is that the "overweight" and "underweight" values shown in this BMI calculator are relative to a predefined average "normal" body weight. This means that sometimes it is better for bodybuilders and very fit people to be "overweight" because the BMI indicates for them that they are heavier than "normal" people, which is in fact the goal that most bodybuilders want to achieve.

Why is the BMI still used?

Despite all of the disadvantages and limitations of the body mass index shown above, ironically, these same limitations play a role in why it is still widely used. These same limitations still occur with many different health indices and frankly will always have limitations, to varying degrees, simply because everyone is different and therefore no single index can encompass all people. Because each individual health index has its limitations, BMI is still used because it is the most widely used and by far the easiest index to calculate: weight divided by height squared.

Even though there are various health indices, such as body fat percentage, that more accurately predict whether or not a particular person has a healthy body weight, the problem with these indices is that they require a bit more effort to obtain the appropriate measurements for each individual. Not only that, but the fact that there are many different indicia and formulas for these methods makes comparison difficult.

The body mass index was developed in the 1800s and widely used after World War 2 to associate body weight with cardiovascular disease. Since then, it has spread around the world and thus a large amount of data has already been collected, not only on people's BMI, but also in scientific articles linking simple BMI to various health problems and diseases. Another important reason why BMI is still used is the ability to compare many groups of people and even entire countries based on their BMI. Again, this is easily done because all that is needed is a person's height and weight. With any other indication, it would be much more difficult to get all the necessary data for a few thousand people, let alone millions! For example, most driver's licenses already have the height and weight listed on the card as well as stored online!

For these reasons, the body mass index, despite its limitations, is still a useful tool to get a general idea of your body weight, but at the end of the day, your own sense of health is still the best calculator!

More information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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