Obesity Calculator

Using an Adult BMI to Calculate Obesity in Children

The adult obesity calculator provides only the BMI number and not the BMI age- and sex-specific percentile that is used to interpret BMI and determine the weight category for children and teens. It is not appropriate to use the BMI categories for adults to interpret BMI numbers for children and teens.

Limitations of the Obesity Calculator

The BMI score generated by the calculator is valid for men, women, children, and teens of all backgrounds and ethnicities. However, it does have some limits. The limits of using BMI to calculate body fat include the following:
  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build (see BMI for Athletes)
  • It may underestimate body fat in older people and others who have lost muscle mass.
Therefore, it is possible for a person to be completely healthy but have an "unhealthy BMI" number. Also, as mentioned, healthcare providers consider other factors besides BMI when assessing the health risk for certain medical conditions.
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