BMI chart for all ages


BMI, or Body Mass Index, has long been a crucial metric for individuals striving to understand their overall health and well-being. Many of us have encountered this term in medical check-ups or fitness assessments, but do we truly comprehend its significance and the methodology behind it? Join me, Debametulam, on a journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding BMI, its definition, and the intricacies of its calculation.

You see, BMI is more than just a number; it’s a powerful indicator that can provide insights into whether your body proportions align with widely accepted health standards. In the upcoming discussion, we will delve into the fundamentals of BMI, exploring what it entails and demystifying the mathematical formula that lies at its core. So, without further ado, let’s embark on this enlightening exploration of BMI and its implications for our health.

Exploring BMI

BMI, short for Body Mass Index, is a numerical indicator extracted from the mathematical equation BMI = Weight (in kilograms) / Height² (in meters). This simple yet powerful formula delves into the intricate interplay between your weight (W) and the square of your height (H). So, does your BMI align with the recommended benchmarks?

BMI serves as a valuable tool to discern the appropriateness of your body weight in relation to your height. It serves as a subtle but informative yardstick that can reveal tendencies toward being either overweight or underweight. Furthermore, the BMI metric is widely embraced by medical practitioners to gain valuable insights into a patient’s current state of health and to assess potential health hazards associated with their weight.

Delve deeper into the BMI metric to unearth hidden insights about your health, and allow healthcare professionals to guide you toward a healthier future.


Formula to calculate BMI

BMI (KG/m2) = Weight / (height x height)

Normally, you will see that each person’s height is usually measured in cm, so you need to convert to m before applying the formula to calculate BMI.

For the average person, their BMI will fall between 18.5 – 24.9, this is the range that shows your height to weight ratio is right.

How to read your body’s BMI

After calculating the body’s BMI , the next thing you need to do is read the BMI to see if your height and weight are up to the standard or not. Here’s how to read your BMI that you need to know

BMI < 18.5Are you showing signs of being underweight?
BMI 18.5 – 22.9Do you have an ideal weight for your height?
BMI 23 – 24.9The indicator shows that you are showing signs of being overweight
BMI 25 – 29.9The indicator shows that you are showing signs of being close to obesity
BMI > 30You’re obese, my friend

However, one thing to note is that this BMI does not apply to pregnant women

Advantages and Disadvantages of Body Mass Index (BMI)

Advantages of BMI:

  • Simplicity and Ease of Use: BMI calculations involve just two fundamental variables – weight and height – making it a straightforward and user-friendly method.
  • Swift Health Assessment: BMI offers a rapid means of gauging whether an individual’s weight falls within a healthy range, facilitating quick initial categorization.
  • Valuable for Population Studies: BMI proves invaluable for large-scale health research as it furnishes a standardized metric that enables effortless comparisons across diverse populations.
  • Promotes Health Awareness: BMI can serve as a powerful tool to heighten awareness about weight-related health risks, motivating individuals to embark on journeys toward healthier lifestyles.
  • Initial Medical Screening: In clinical contexts, BMI functions as an initial screening tool, identifying potential weight-related health concerns.

Disadvantages of BMI:

  • Limited Information: BMI exclusively takes into account weight and height, disregarding other critical factors like muscle mass, bone density, and overall body composition.
  • Potential Misclassification: It may misclassify individuals with substantial muscle mass as overweight or obese, even if their body fat levels are within a healthy range.
  • Age and Gender Variability: BMI’s definition of a healthy weight may not uniformly apply across all age groups and genders.
  • Complexity of Health: BMI does not consider specific health conditions, genetic factors, or fat distribution, which are essential aspects of assessing overall health.
  • Cultural and Ethnic Disparities: BMI standards may lack cultural or ethnic sensitivity, possibly misrepresenting health risks among certain population groups.
  • Lack of Personalization: It does not accommodate variations in individual health needs or objectives.
  • False Sense of Security: Some individuals with a healthy BMI may still harbor an unhealthy amount of body fat or underlying health issues.
  • Unsuitable for Athletes: BMI may inaccurately classify athletes as overweight due to their elevated muscle mass.

Is BMI a Reliable Indicator of Weight Status?

The accuracy of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of an individual’s weight status has been a subject of ongoing debate and scrutiny. Although BMI has been widely adopted as a tool to categorize people into underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese categories, there are valid concerns regarding its applicability and precision.

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently utilizes BMI values to classify individuals based on their weight. However, criticism persists due to the diverse nature of each person’s body composition. Variables such as gender, age, and race introduce significant variations in how we interpret weight thresholds.

It’s imperative to acknowledge that body weight is not solely a reflection of body fat. Other factors, including muscle mass, bone density, and fluid retention, can impact an individual’s overall weight. Neglecting these factors may result in the misclassification of individuals with higher muscle percentages, such as athletes, as overweight according to BMI.

For many healthcare institutions, hospitals, and clinics, BMI remains a primary tool for assessing the risk of obesity. Nevertheless, a more comprehensive evaluation involves incorporating additional measurements such as waist circumference, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. By integrating these diverse metrics, a more nuanced understanding of an individual’s health status can be obtained, thereby enhancing the accuracy of risk assessments.

In summary, while BMI has inherent limitations in capturing the intricacies of individual body compositions, it still serves as a foundational tool for initial weight status assessment. However, its effectiveness is greatly improved when supplemented with a comprehensive set of measurements, providing a more holistic perspective on the health risks associated with obesity and related diseases.

What are the limitations of BMI?

Age and Gender Considerations:

When it comes to assessing body weight and health, the Body Mass Index (BMI) has long been a widely used metric. However, it’s essential to recognize that BMI has certain limitations that can affect its accuracy. One significant limitation is its indifference to age and gender. For adults aged 20 and above, BMI relies solely on weight and height measurements, disregarding the vital nuances brought about by age and gender differences.

It’s a well-established fact that women generally have a higher proportion of body fat compared to men who share the same BMI. Additionally, the relationship between BMI and body fat levels shifts as individuals age. Older individuals often tend to accumulate more body fat than their younger counterparts with similar BMI values. This inherent bias within the BMI system can result in misleading health assessments, failing to account for the varying physiological changes that occur across different age and gender groups.

Overlooking Body Composition:

Another critical limitation of BMI lies in its inability to consider the distribution and composition of body fat. Research consistently reveals that the health implications of body fat are not solely determined by its overall quantity but also by its distribution throughout the body. Individuals with a concentration of fat around the waist and abdominal organs, for instance, may face heightened health risks compared to those with fat stored in other areas. A notable study in 2017, involving a comprehensive analysis of 1,964 participants and published in Scientific Reports, provided compelling evidence to underscore the significance of this limitation.

The Complexity of BMI and Health:

While BMI is often associated with body fat percentage, especially in cases of obesity, it’s important to acknowledge that a high BMI isn’t always synonymous with poor health. This is particularly evident in individuals with significant muscle mass, such as athletes and bodybuilders. Muscle tissue weighs more than fat, which means that individuals with well-developed muscles may register a high BMI even if they maintain a healthy fat level. Conversely, individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle might possess a low BMI but still harbor excessive body fat and inadequate lean tissue, which can have adverse health implications.

What diseases can a high BMI lead to?

The correlation between a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and various health conditions and diseases is well-established. A high BMI is indicative of an increased susceptibility to a range of health ailments, some of which include:

  • Obesity: Elevated BMI serves as a prominent marker for obesity, a multifaceted health concern associated with a plethora of adverse health implications. Obesity, characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat, is linked to a diverse spectrum of health issues.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: High BMI significantly heightens the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Excess body weight can precipitate insulin resistance, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: Individuals with an elevated BMI face an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases, encompassing hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. The additional weight places undue strain on the heart and blood vessels, fostering the development of these conditions.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome, characterized by high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat, is strongly influenced by a high BMI. It is a compilation of health issues wherein high BMI plays a pivotal role.
  • Certain Cancers: Obesity and high BMI are associated with an increased likelihood of certain cancers, including breast, colorectal, and kidney cancer. Although the precise mechanisms linking obesity to cancer are intricate, inflammation and hormonal alterations are believed to be contributing factors.
  • Respiratory Disorders: Obesity, often concomitant with a high BMI, can give rise to respiratory complications such as sleep apnea and obesity hypoventilation syndrome. The surplus weight exerts pressure on the respiratory system, particularly during sleep, making breathing challenging.
  • Joint Problems: High BMI amplifies the stress on joints, culminating in conditions like osteoarthritis. The additional weight expedites the wear and tear of joint cartilage.
  • Fatty Liver Disease: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is more prevalent in individuals with a high BMI. It entails the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to inflammation and scarring.
  • Gallbladder Disease: Obesity, closely intertwined with high BMI, heightens the risk of gallstones and gallbladder disease due to alterations in bile metabolism.
  • Reproductive Health Issues: High BMI can perturb hormonal balance, adversely affecting reproductive health in both men and women. In women, it can result in irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and infertility, while in men, it can lead to diminished testosterone levels.
  • Mental Health Disorders: Although not a physical ailment, a high BMI and obesity can exert an impact on mental health, contributing to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and a reduced quality of life.

This comprehensive overview underscores the intricate relationship between a high BMI and a multitude of health challenges, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for overall well-being.

Weight, obesity and health risks based on BMI

The graph shows weight categories by BMI and the impact of higher waist circumference on the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

ClassifyBMI (kg/m  2  )Obese classBeltBelt
Male 101 cm or lessFemale 89 cm or lessMale: 101 cm or moreFemale: 89 cm or more
Underweight18.4 or less
Healthy weight18.5–24.9
Overweight25.0–29.9Increased riskHigh risk
Fat30.0–34.9IHigh riskVery high risk
35.0–39.9IIVery high riskVery high risk
Extreme obesity40.0+IIIExtremely high riskExtremely high risk

Standard BMI table for babies from 0-12 months old


49.9 cm3.3 kgNewborn
54.7 cm4.5 kg1 month
58.4 cm5.6 kg2 months
61.4 cm6.4 kg3 months
63.9 cm7 kg4 months
65.9 cm7.5 kg5 months
67.6 cm7.9 kg6 months
69.2 cm8.3 kg7 months
70.6 cm8.6 kg8 months
72 cm8.9 kg9 months
73.3 cm9.2 kg10 months
74.5 cm9.4 kg11 months
75.7 cm9.6 kg12 months

Standard BMI calculator for boys from 0-12 years old


49.1 cm3.2 kgNewborn
53.7 cm4.2 kg1 month
57.1 cm5.1 kg2 months
59.8 cm5.8 kg3 months
62.1 cm6.4 kg4 months
64 cm6.9 kg5 months
65.7 cm7.3 kg6 months
67.3 cm7.6 kg7 months
68.7 cm7.9 kg8 months
70.1 cm8.2 kg9 months
71.5 cm8.5 kg10 months
72.8 cm8.7 kg11 months
74 cm8.9 kg12 months

Standard BMI calculator for girls from 0-12 years old

Standard BMI table for children from 6-10 years old


115.1 cm20.2 kg6
120.8 cm22.4 kg7
126.6 cm25 kg8
132.5 cm28.2 kg9
138.6 cm32 kgten

Standard BMI calculator for boys from 6-10 years old


116 cm20.5 kg6
121.7 cm22.9 kg7
127.3 cm25.4 kg8
132.6 cm28.1 kg9
137.8 cm31.2 kgten

Standard BMI calculator for girls from 6-10 years old

Standard BMI table for children over 10 years old


138.6 cm32 kgten
143.5 cm35.6 kg11
149.1 cm39.9 kgtwelfth
156.2 cm45.3 kg13
163.5 cm50.8 kg14
170.1 cm56 kg15
173.4 cm60.8 kg16
175.2 cm64.4 kg17
175.7 cm66.9 kg18

Standard BMI calculator for boys from 10 to 18 years old


137.8 cm31.2 kgten
144 cm36.9 kg11
149.8 cm41.5 kgtwelfth
156.7 cm45.8 kg13
158.7 cm47.6 kg14
159.7 cm52.1 kg15
162.5 cm53.5 kg16
162.5 cm54.4 kg17
163 cm56.7 kg18

Standard BMI calculator for girls from 10 to 18 years old

Benefits of maintaining a reasonable BMI

Maintaining a reasonable BMI (Body Mass Index) offers a multitude of benefits for overall health and well-being. Here are some key advantages:

1. Heart Health: Keeping a healthy BMI reduces the risk of heart diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, and strokes. It eases the strain on the cardiovascular system, promoting optimal heart function.

2. Diabetes Prevention: Maintaining a reasonable BMI lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

3. Joint Health: A healthy BMI alleviates stress on joints, reducing the likelihood of conditions like osteoarthritis and joint pain.

4. Improved Respiratory Function: Maintaining a healthy weight supports better lung function and reduces the risk of respiratory disorders like sleep apnea.

5. Reduced Cancer Risk: A reasonable BMI is associated with a decreased risk of obesity-related cancers such as breast, colorectal, and kidney cancer.

6. Enhanced Mobility: Optimal BMI promotes better physical mobility and agility, improving the overall quality of life.

7. Mental Well-being: Maintaining a healthy weight can positively impact mental health, fostering greater self-esteem and body confidence.

8. Hormonal Balance: A reasonable BMI supports balanced hormone levels, benefiting reproductive health in both men and women.

9. Digestive Health: A healthy weight can reduce the risk of gallbladder issues and improve overall digestive function.

10. Longevity: Research suggests that maintaining a healthy BMI is associated with a longer life expectancy and a decreased risk of premature mortality.

11. Improved Metabolism: A reasonable BMI contributes to a more efficient metabolism, aiding in weight management and energy regulation.

12. Reduced Inflammation: Healthy weight levels are linked to lower levels of chronic inflammation, which is associated with numerous health issues.

13. Enhanced Fitness Performance: Achieving and maintaining a healthy BMI can lead to improved athletic performance and endurance.

14. Lowered Health Care Costs: By reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases, a reasonable BMI can help lower healthcare costs over time.

15. Better Overall Quality of Life: Ultimately, maintaining a healthy BMI contributes to an improved overall quality of life, allowing individuals to engage in activities they enjoy without the limitations imposed by excess weight.

Incorporating a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help individuals attain and sustain a reasonable BMI, reaping these numerous health benefits in the process.

The secret to achieving the right BMI


Improve your nutrition

To attain a healthy BMI, it’s essential to focus on managing your body weight. Consider incorporating foods that are abundant in calcium, type 2 collagen, and vitamin D to promote efficient and swift height growth. It’s important to emphasize moderation in consuming fatty foods, as their excess intake can lead to rapid weight gain. By adopting these dietary practices, you can work towards achieving your desired BMI while supporting your overall well-being.


Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is a crucial strategy for achieving a healthy BMI in relation to your height and weight. Consistent physical activity helps to eliminate excess body fat, leading to a leaner physique. Additionally, maintaining a routine exercise regimen stimulates the body to produce higher levels of growth hormone.

Growth hormone holds an indispensable and vital role in human development, exerting a significant influence on the growth process. This hormone is unique in its ability to foster bone growth, making it a critical component.

Furthermore, the secretion of growth hormone experiences its peak during the growth spurt period, particularly in puberty, when daily secretion significantly escalates. As individuals transition into adulthood, growth hormone secretion gradually declines.

Concurrently, as adulthood sets in, the epiphyses situated at the ends of long bones undergo gradual closure, resulting in diminished growth space and eventual cessation of growth.

By integrating regular exercise into your routine, you not only contribute to maintaining a healthy BMI but also harness the benefits of increased growth hormone secretion during crucial growth stages.


Prioritize Timely and Sufficient Sleep

As the adage goes, “People grow during sleep,” highlighting the integral link between sleep and the secretion of growth hormone, a vital catalyst for body development.

Growth hormone, a biologically active substance produced by the anterior pituitary gland, exerts direct effects on tissues across the body. It fosters protein synthesis within tissues, augments cell size and quantity, and bolsters cellular growth to facilitate overall body development.

Furthermore, growth hormone stimulates the proliferation of chondrocytes in the epiphyseal plates of long bones, expediting bone and cartilage growth and gradually contributing to an increase in stature.

Moreover, scientific research has unveiled a noteworthy correlation: individuals who consistently experience late nights exhibit a 36% higher likelihood of weight gain compared to those who adhere to an early bedtime routine. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize consistent and ample sleep to enhance your journey toward achieving a standard height and weight.

Limit snacking


Fatty and sugary snacks are among the culprits behind obesity, particularly in young children. Therefore, if your aim is to achieve a healthy BMI, it’s crucial to exercise restraint when it comes to consuming junk food.

Stay Hydrated

Although it may sound surprising, consuming ample water can indeed yield significant benefits for enhancing your body’s form. Several studies indicate that staying well-hydrated not only aids weight loss but also potentially contributes to height improvement. Therefore, make it a habit to drink an ample amount of water daily to positively impact your body’s composition.

Exercise Caution with BMI Interpretation

While BMI can serve as a useful guideline for assessing abnormal body weight, it’s important not to overly rely on this number as the sole determinant of health. BMI has its limitations and should be interpreted with caution. One of its key drawbacks lies in its generality, as it fails to account for crucial individual factors like body type, age, and activity level.

Despite BMI offering insights into the appropriateness of an individual’s weight relative to their height, it overlooks age-specific considerations, leading to potential inaccuracies. Furthermore, the source of a person’s weight can distort BMI calculations, as evident in cases of athletes and bodybuilders. These groups exhibit higher weights due to increased muscle mass, not excess body fat.

Age-related variations in body fat distribution also impact BMI outcomes. Adults generally possess more body fat than children, and gender differences play a role too, with women naturally having more body fat than men.

Similarly, activity levels and body shapes influence the results. Even individuals with a normal BMI might have elevated body fat percentages if they lead sedentary lifestyles. Moreover, those with excess belly fat are prone to health issues, particularly heart disease and type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, fat accumulation in the hips and thighs is associated with lower risk.

Hence, BMI doesn’t offer a complete reflection of an individual’s health status. Additionally, BMI benchmarks can vary across different populations. For instance, in Asians, a BMI of 27 or above is considered obese, deviating from the general obesity range of BMI over 30.

Significance of Maintaining a Healthy BMI

While acknowledging that BMI isn’t an all-encompassing measure of health and fitness, it serves as a valuable reminder to pay attention to your body weight. Striving to maintain a reasonable weight aligned with BMI standards can yield numerous advantages:

1. Enhanced Endurance: Attaining a healthy BMI improves stamina, enabling you to engage in prolonged physical activities without fatigue.

2. Reduced Joint and Muscle Discomfort: Maintaining a suitable body weight reduces the likelihood of experiencing joint pain and muscle discomfort, fostering overall physical comfort.

3. Quality Sleep: Achieving a healthy BMI positively impacts sleep quality, promoting restful and rejuvenating sleep.

4. Cardiovascular Well-being: Optimal body weight improves cardiovascular performance, contributing to a healthier heart and circulatory system.

5. Improved Blood Circulation and Metabolism: Maintaining a reasonable BMI enhances blood circulation and metabolic processes, supporting overall bodily function.

6. Lowered Disease Risk: Adhering to a healthy BMI reduces the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers, safeguarding long-term well-being.

7. Favorable Blood Profile: A healthy BMI is associated with improved blood markers, including lowered cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels, thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

8. Enhanced Quality of Life: Maintaining a suitable body weight enhances your overall quality of life, allowing you to participate in various activities and experience greater vitality.

9. Positive Psychological Impact: Achieving and maintaining a healthy BMI can foster self-confidence and a positive body image, contributing to psychological well-being.

10. Prevention and Management: By aligning with BMI standards, you are better equipped to prevent weight-related health issues and effectively manage existing conditions.

While BMI provides valuable guidance, remember that health is multifaceted, and lifestyle factors like balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and overall well-being also play pivotal roles. Striving for a healthy BMI is a step toward comprehensive health enhancement.

In addition to BMI, what index should be paid attention to to measure health?

In addition to BMI, there are other indices that should be considered when assessing health. While BMI is widely used for its simplicity, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations, especially in reflecting individual variations in body composition, such as muscle mass and fat distribution. Consequently, alternative measurements provide more nuanced insights into health status.

One such measurement is waist circumference, which has garnered attention due to its close correlation with health risks. Unlike BMI, which doesn’t account for fat distribution, measuring waist circumference offers valuable information about abdominal fat, a factor associated with various health conditions.

For women, an ideal waist circumference generally falls below 87 cm, while for men, it’s recommended to keep it below 101.6 cm. Studies have highlighted the significance of waist circumference in assessing health. A comprehensive European study in 2012 involving 340,000 individuals identified a strong link between larger waist circumferences and an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. Similarly, a more recent study in March 2018, encompassing 500,000 participants and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, indicated that individuals with smaller waist circumferences faced a higher risk of heart attack.

While the BMI information and standard BMI table you’ve shared are valuable, considering measurements like waist circumference alongside other health indicators can provide a more accurate representation of an individual’s health. Implementing the methods outlined by Debametulam can indeed contribute to improved health outcomes.