Body Mass Index Information
Because being overweight or obese increases a person's chances for developing many diseases, it is important to determine a person's weight status. Research on obesity has shown that a calculation called body mass index (BMI) is a simple, easy-to-use way to measure body fatness. It is calculated using just two pieces of information: height and weight.
Once this information is gathered, the body mass index can be interpreted for adults using standard weight status categories that are the same for all ages and for both men and women. For example, a normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. Anything from 25.5 to 29.9 is overweight, and a reading of 30.0 and higher is considered obese.
(Click Body Mass Index for more information, including the different tools used to calculate BMI, how the results are interpreted, and other ways to measure a person's body fat.)