Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. It is typically elevated in people with diabetes and prediabetes metabolic syndrome.
BMI weight categories that may lead to health problems:
- Underweight = <18.5
- Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
- Overweight = 25–29.9
- Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
BMI can be used for most men and women, however there some limitations such as:
It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. Muscle is heavier than fat, so an athlete may weigh more than someone of the same height, and therefore have a higher BMI, but this does not necessarily mean that they are overweight or in a higher risk category for medical problems.
It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle. For example, those that are tall and frail due to aging or disease may have a low BMI, but this doesn’t mean they are healthy.
Ask your doctor what you can do to lower your BMI especially if you have diabetes or prediabetes metabolic syndrome.