Body Mass Index

The BMI (body mass index), a key index for relating body weight to height, is a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared. It correlates strongly (in adults) with the total body fat content.

A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person’s height, age, sex, and build. Obesity has been more precisely defined as a BMI of 30 and above.

Obesity is a significant contributor to health problems. It increases the risk of developing a number of diseases including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Cancer
  • Gallstones and cholecystitis
  • Osteoarthritis