Body Mass Index Information Page
|The body mass index is one method that doctors use to determine if an individual is at a healthy weight. The index is thought to be a more accurate indicator of body fat content than the standard height-weight tables that have been in use for over 30 years.
What is the body mass index (BMI)?
The body mass index is a formula to assess a person's body weight relative to height. It's a useful, indirect measure of body composition, because it correlates highly with body fat in most people. The BMI happens to be the most commonly used measurement in epidemiological studies and for middle-aged men and women, it correlates over 90% with fat mass densitometry. The BMI is also called the Quetelet index and while it does not distinguish fat mass from lean or muscle mass, it is a very useful approximation to what one should weigh depending on height.
Some well-trained people with dense muscle mass may have a high BMI score but very little body fat. For them the waist circumference, the skinfold or fatfold measurements, or more direct methods of measuring body fat may be more useful measures.
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