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BMI and Body Fat

BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and is a measurement or ration of your weight versus your height. It indicates the effect of body weight on disease and death.

Body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. A certain amount of fat is essential for bodily functions. Fat regulates body temperature, cushions and insulates organs and tissues and is the main form of the body's energy storage.

If you are 150 pounds and 10 percent fat, it means that your body consists of 15 pounds fat and 135 pounds lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else).

The following table describes body fat ranges and their associated categories. Knowing your body fat percentage can also help you determine if your weight loss goals are realistic. Remember, weight loss doesn't always mean fat loss. Talk to your medical provider if you have concerns about your BMI and/or body fat percentage.

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0-39.9 Obese
Above 40 Extreme Obesity

Body Fat Women (% Fat)
Essential Fat 10-12%
Athletes 14-20%
Fitness 21-24%
Acceptable 25-31%
Obese 32% +

Body Fat Men (% Fat)
Essential Fat 2-4%
Athletes 6-13%
Fitness 14-17%
Acceptable 18-25%
Obese 25% +
Body Mass Index Calculator
Weight: lbs.

Height:  Ft. In.

Body Mass Index:
According to the Panel on Energy, Obesity, and Body Weight Standards published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, your category is:


Please note: If you suspect you have a weight problem, please consult your physician.