Weight Loss Home > Obesity Calculator

Healthcare providers often measure body fat by calculating body mass index (BMI) using an obesity calculator (better known as a BMI calculator). The BMI number is calculated the same way for children and adults. However, the criteria used to interpret the meaning of the BMI number for children and teens are different from those used for adults. It is not appropriate to use the adult calculator to interpret BMI numbers for children and teens.

What Is an Obesity Calculator?

Obesity is a term that refers to an excessive amount of body fat. Although there are more accurate (and costly) ways to measure body fat, healthcare providers often estimate it using the body mass index (BMI).
 
BMI is an indirect measure of body fat. It allows healthcare providers to use a person's height and weight to determine their weight status. The obesity calculator can be used to determine a person's BMI.
 
(This obesity calculator is more commonly referred to as a BMI calculator because it can determine weight status in general, not just whether someone is obese.)
 
Although the BMI number is calculated the same way for children and adults, the criteria used to interpret the meaning of the number for children and teens are different from those used for adults. For children and teens, BMI age- and sex-specific percentiles are used.
 
For adults, on the other hand, BMI is interpreted through categories that do not take into account sex or age. Anyone who is at least 20 years of age should use the adult calculator. Anyone younger than 20 should use the BMI Calculator for Children.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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