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How to calculate BMI?

You may have heard of it, but don’t know how to calculate BMI? Created in the 19th century by the mathematician Lambert Quételet, the Body Mass Index, known by the acronym BMI, is a simple calculation that allows us to measure whether or not one is at the ideal weight.

This is one of the most used measures to define if a person is excessively thin, healthy, or very fat. You just have to divide the weight, in kilos, by the value of the height, in meters, squared.

How to calculate BMI in practice

For example, if a person is 1.70 m tall and weighs 56 kg, the bill looks like this:

The result of this mathematical formula can indicate, for example, if you are at the correct weight if you are thin, overweight, or obese. According to the Ministry of Health, the result must be interpreted according to the following table:

  • Less than 16 – Severe thinness
  • 16 to less than 17 – Moderate thinness
  • 17 to less than 18.5 – Slight thinness
  • 18.5 to less than 25 years – Healthy
  • 25 to less than 30 years – Overweight
  • 30 to less than 35 years – Obesity Grade I
  • 35 to less than 40 years – Obesity Grade II (considered severe)
  • Over 40 – Obesity Grade III (considered morbid)

Severe thinness

Severe thinness (BMI less than 16) is a condition that can be caused by severe malnutrition. Consult a doctor, as this weight is a threat to health.

Moderate thinness

Hormonal conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, can affect a person’s weight, as well as parasites or simply a low-calorie diet. You can see a doctor make sure there is nothing wrong.


It may have some consequences but is generally not a concern. A BMI of over 17 is not far from healthy.


This classification ensures a lower risk of various diseases ranging from anemia to heart attack. Being in this classification is being at the ideal weight for your body, but it is good to remember that you have to check your waist circumference in search of excess fat.

In the case of women, the waist should be up to 80 cm. For men, up to 94 cm. The waist should be measured just below the ribs.


Being overweight can cause some circulation problems in the body, in addition to fatigue, but in addition to slight thinness, if the BMI is just above 25, it is not a concern. A diet with a little fewer calories or a little more exercise in the routine can solve the situation.

Obesity grade I

Above a BMI of 30, a person is considered obese, which in itself is a disease. Thanks to the weight, the risk of various conditions increase considerably. A physician can indicate an ideal means of weight regulation.

Obesity grade II

Being obese grade II is to have high risks of diabetes, hypertension, in addition to cancer and heart attack. Find a doctor to treat the situation.

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Obesity grade III

Called morbid obesity, this condition poses serious health risks. Get medical help.

How to calculate the BMI of the elderly

Muscle loss inherent in aging is also not accounted for in the standard BMI calculator. In this case, it is worth using the same formula for people over 65, but the classification should be as follows:

  • Thinness: less than 22
  • Normal: from 22 to 27
  • Overweight: more than 27

What do you think?

Written by Facundo Martinez


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