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BMI: Are you a healthy weight?

  • Who is it for?

    Health care professionals working with adult patients.

  • How do you get it?

    This resource is distributed electronically and can be downloaded on this page.

  • How is it used?

    Provides a conversation starter and a prompt to encourage patients to ask about their weight status.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. The healthiest BMI range for adults is 18.5 to 24.9.

Having a BMI of 25 or higher may be an indicator of having too much body fat; this is unhealthy as it increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. BMI does not diagnose overweight and obesity, but is a strong sign that weight may be a health problem and further assessments by a health care provider are in order. These assessments might include skin fold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity and family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

Note — The following resources are applicable only to adult patients. For adults 20 years old and older, BMI is interpreted using standard weight status categories that are the same for all ages and for both men and women. For children and teens, on the other hand, the interpretation of BMI is both age and sex-specific.

Download a BMI Chart for Adults

This BMI chart for adults is a great resource to put around your office, clinic, waiting room, or anywhere else where patients will see it. Use to determine the BMIs of your patients and to start conversations about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.

Adult BMI Chart
Download and use this version for screen viewing, or desktop printing.
Adult BMI Chart
This is a high resolution version that you can have professionally printed (4-color process printing) as a handout or mini-poster.

Interactive BMI calculator

Our sister-site, My Eat Smart Move More, has an interactive BMI calculator. You can put in your weight and height, and our calculator will provide your BMI and its corresponding weight status category.

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Please address all inquiries to the Eat Smart, Move More NC Webmaster.