While it’s not a perfect measurement, BMI can be a good indicator of how much fat your body is carrying — and the related risks.
You’ve long heard doctors talk about BMI — or body mass index — and you may even know yours off the top of your head, especially if you were told your number was in the unhealthy range.
Technically, your BMI is used “as a good — though rough — indicator of how much fat mass you’re likely to have,” says Patrick M. O’Neil, PhD, the director of the weight management center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, and then multiplying that number by 703. You can use this equation to get your number: weight (lb) / [height (in) x height (in)] x 703, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
An easier way of finding your BMI is to use the online calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to see where you fall.
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