Geneva College

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The BMI is a simple estimate of body composition but it is not a certain percentage of body fat.

The BMI is based upon an individual′s weight and height.

The BMI can be a decent gauge of your risk for possible obesity-related problems, but it is not meant to diagnose health.

Caution should be used when looking at a BMI because it does not differentiate muscle weight from fat weight. Special caution should be used for people who are highly muscular, have large body frames, are petite, or are an athlete in training.

The BMI range of about 18-25 in women is associated with the lowest rate of illness and death.

The BMI range of about 19-25 in men is associated with the lowest rate of illness and death.

People with BMIs in the healthiest range are considered to be of normal weight.

Formula for finding your BMI:

  1. Height in inches (without shoes) and weight in pounds (without clothing)
  2. Multiply your weight by 703.
  3. Divide that number by your height.
  4. Divide again by your height.


  1. Person is 5′7" and weighs 140 pounds
  2. 140 x 703 = 98420
  3. 98420 divided by 67 = 1469
  4. 1469 divided by 67 = 21.9

A BMI of 21.9 means that our example person is in the healthiest range (female or male).

Classifications of BMI:







Less than 18.5



Over 30

*Information taken from ‘Fit To Be Well′ (2103) by A. Thygerson & S. Thygerson