Erdem Clinic

BMI Calculator

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What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is a person's weight in kilograms (or pounds) divided by the square of their height in meters (or feet). A high BMI may indicate high body fat. BMI helps detect weight categories that can lead to health problems, but it does not diagnose an individual's health status or body fat.

How to Calculate Body Mass Index

BMI is a simple calculation using a person's height and weight. The formula is Body mass index = kg/m2 where kg is a person's weight in kilograms and m2 is the square of their height in meters.
A BMI of 25.0 or higher is overweight, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. Bodu mass index applies to most adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

Who Shouldn't Use a BMI Calculator?

BMI should not be used by muscle builders, long-distance runners, pregnant women, the elderly, or young children. This is because BMI does not take into account whether the weight carried is muscle or fat, but only numbers. People with higher muscle mass, such as athletes, may have a high BMI but are not at higher health risks.
People with lower muscle mass, such as children who have not fully grown or the elderly who may be losing muscle mass, may have a lower BMI. During pregnancy and lactation, a woman's body composition changes, so the use of BMI is not appropriate.

Diagnosing Weight Types with BMI

The following BMI ranges (in kg/m2) classify different weight categories:

  • Underweight: Less than 18.5.
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9.
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9.
  • Type I obesity: 30 to 34.9.
  • Type II obesity: 35 to 39.9.
  • Type III obesity: More than 40.

BMI is not the only tool providers use to categorize weight types. Other tools include:

  • Measure waist.
  • Measure skin thickness with a skin caliper in certain areas of the body, such as the back of the hand and under the shoulder blades.
  • DEXA scan and air displacement volumetric (ADP) measurement - they are less commonly used.
  • Type I obesity: 30 to 34.9.
  • Type II obesity: 35 to 39.9.
  • Type III obesity: More than 40.
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Screening for Health Risks with BMI

If you've got a BMI much less than 18.5 (underweight), you'll be at better threat for growing the subsequent conditions:

  • Malnutrition
  • Anemia
  • Infertility
  • Weakened immune system
  • Osteoporosis

If you have underweight, your healthcare provider will likely order some blood tests and other tests to check your general health and see if you are malnourished.
It's important to remember that you can have any of the above conditions without having a high BMI. Likewise, you can have a high BMI without any of these conditions. Genetics and other factors, such as smoking, play a large role in the development of these conditions.

How Do I Calculate My BMI?

You can calculate your BMI yourself by following these steps:

  • Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
  • Divide this answer by your height in inches (there are 12 inches in 1 foot).
  • Divide this answer again by your height in inches.

For example, a patient weighs 180 Ibs. and 5 feet 5 inches tall (65 inches total) will calculate their BMI as follows:

  • 180 x 703 = 126,540.
  • 126,540 / 65 = 1,946.769.
  • 1,946.769 / 65 = 29.95.

Their BMI would be 29.9.

What is a Healthy BMI?

For a healthy BMI, the optimal range is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9.
It is important to remember that body fat is not the only factor that determines overall health. A number of other factors, such as genetics, activity level, smoking or tobacco use, alcohol consumption and mental health problems, all affect your overall health and ability to development of certain medical conditions.
What are the Limitations of BMI?
The standard BMI chart has limitations for several reasons. For this reason, it is important not to put too much emphasis on your BMI.
While the BMI chart may not be accurate for some people, healthcare providers still use it because it is the fastest tool to assess a person's estimated body fat.
Limitations of Using BMI to Help Diagnose Weight Types
Standard BMI has limitations when it comes to diagnosing weight categories, including:

  • BMI does not distinguish between lean muscle mass (the weight of everything in your body except fat) and fat mass. As a result, a person can have a high BMI (while muscular) but still have very low fat mass and vice versa.
  • The same BMI chart is used for adults defined as male at birth (AMAB) and adults designated as female at birth (AFAB) although AFAB adults typically have more body fat than adults to AMAB.
  • The BMI table has not been adjusted to account for the increase in mean adult height over the years.
    You should not use a standard BMI chart to assess body fat in the following populations:
  • Bodybuilders and athletes.
  • Teenagers and children.
  • People over the age of 65.
  • Pregnant people.

A Note from Erdem Health Group

Body mass index (BMI) is a quick tool that healthcare providers can use to assess your risk for certain health conditions. However, BMI is not always an accurate measure of body fat and is not the only factor that determines your overall health.
If you have questions or concerns about your weight or your risk of certain health conditions, such as heart disease, talk to your healthcare provider. They are ready to help you.

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