What is a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) calculates how much body fat you have.

Lean BMI means you have a low amount of body fat. If you are an athlete, this can be desirable. If you are not an athlete, a lean BMI can indicate that your weight may be too low which may lower your immunity.

If your BMI and body weight are low, you should consider gaining weight by eating more food and exercising to increase your amount of muscle.

Healthy BMI means you have a healthy amount of body fat for your age.

Overfat means your amount of body fat is too high which puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease and some cancers. You should consider losing weight by eating less food and exercising to decrease your amount of body fat.

If you are a trained athlete, your weight based on your measured percent body fat would be a better indicator of what you should weigh.

Copyright © 1996, Joanne Larsen, MS RD LD

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