Body Mass Index

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body mass index, otherwise known as BMI, is a reliable number that indicates the amount of body fat in a person which can lead to serious health problems. It is calculated from an individual's weight and height.  

Although it does not measure fat directly, research shows that BMI results correlates to direct measurements of body fat, such as under water weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Not only can BMI be considered as an alternative for direct measuring, it is a fast and accurate method of screening. Being overweight may lead to serious health problems.

How do you calculate BMI?

Your technician will first take your weight on a digital scale, then using a stadiometer, your height will be recorded. These two measurements are put into a formula and calculated achieving your BMI score. This test is completely painless and will only take 5 minutes.  

The correlation between BMI and body fat is similar depending upon sex, race and age:

  • At the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.
  • At the same BMI, older people on the average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults.
  • Highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fat.

Find out if you are at risk for Obesity.

What else do we screen for? Learn more.