The BMI is used in a wide variety of contexts as a simple method to assess how much an individual's body weight departs from what is normal or desirable for a person of his or her height. To use a free BMI calculator go to www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to staying healthy. As people gain weight, their risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and heart disease all increase.
For adults, preventing weight gain as you age is critical, no matter your current body weight. People who are overweight or obese may need to lose weight to improve their health. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Aim for a Healthy Weight website has information to help adults achieve or maintain a healthy weight. It also has information about how to make healthy food choices and how to increase physical activity to help you lose weight if you are overweight or obese. You can use the information on this website to help your family maintain a healthy weight and prevent weight gain.
Your Body Mass Index or BMI is a measure of how much you weigh compared to how tall you are. Knowing your BMI helps you find out if you are at a healthy weight for your height. There also are BMI charts designed for children, so you can find out if your child is at a healthy weight for his or her height and age.