For adults, a healthy weight is defined as the appropriate bodyweight in relation to height. This ratio of weight to height isknown as the body mass index (BMI). People who are overweight (BMIof 25 - 29.9) have too much body weight for their height.
People who are obese (BMI of 30 or above) almost always have alarge amount of body fat in relation to their height. There areexceptions, of course. Big athletes with lots of muscle might havea BMI over 30, but may still have a healthy body composition. Theywould not be considered obese from the perspective of healthrisk.
Use a BMIcalculator for adults and learn your BMI by entering yourheight and body weight. Or use the BMI tables below by finding yourheight (on the left) and weight (in the table), and then your BMI(at the top).
Body Mass Index for Children
For children and teens, overweight is defined differently thanit is for adults. Children are still growing, and boys and girlsdevelop at different rates. Therefore, the body mass index (BMI)for children 2 to 20 years old is determined by using a BMI tablethat compares their weight and height along with growth charts. Thegrowth charts use a child’s BMI, age, and gender to produce aBMI percentile.
A child's BMI percentile shows how his or her BMI compares withother boys or girls of the same age. A child or teen that isbetween the 85th and 95th percentile on the growth chart isconsidered at risk of overweight. A child or teen that is at the95th percentile or above is considered overweight. For children,BMI is used to screen for overweight, healthy weight, orunderweight. It is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a child mayhave a high BMI for age and gender, but to determine if excess fatis a problem, a health care provider would need to perform furtherassessments.
Ask your family doctor, pediatrician, or other health careprovider about the body mass index for children and how to learnyour child’s BMI percentile. For more information about BMIpercentile and growth charts for children, visit www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/bmi-for-age.htm.
BMI Tables for Adults
To use these BMI tables, find the appropriate height in theleft-hand column labeled Height. Move across to a given body weight(in pounds). The number at the top of the column is the BMI at thatheight and weight. Pounds have been rounded off. Remember, these charts apply only to adults.