Understanding Your BMI

When discussing weight, the term BMI is often used. Although we hear these letters quite frequently, do we really know what they mean?

BMI Defined
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. It applies to both  adult men and women and is broken up into the following four categories:

  • Underweight:              < 18.5
  • Normal weight:           18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight:                25 – 29.9
  • Obese:                       30 or greater

Why is BMI Important?

BMI is an estimate of body fat and can be used to determine one’s risk for weight-associated diseases. Adults with a BMI of 25 or greater are typically at risk for developing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

It is recommended that adults who are obese or overweight lose weight, especially if they have a family history of heart disease, smoke cigarettes, are sedentary, or have high blood pressure. Simply losing between five and 10 percent of your current weight can help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity.

If you are concerned about your weight and would like to know your BMI click or download a BMI calculator app for your phone. If you would like to consult with a physician to discuss your BMI and other risk factors for weight-related diseases, call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.