What is BMI?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and has been used as a body fat indicator for some time. Based on weight and height the idea is that the higher the score the higher percentage of fat contained in the body. Weight categories are assigned to the range of BMI scores.


BMI Category
Under 18.5 Underweight
18.5-25 Healthy / Ideal
25-30 Overweight
30 and above Obese

Children (2yr - 20yrs)

Percentile Range Category
Less than the 5th percentile Underweight
5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile Healthy / Ideal
85th to less than the 95th percentil Overweight
Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile Obese

Lookup your BMI value using one of the following charts to find the corresponding percentile range and match this to the respective category:
Female chart
Male chart

Is BMI Accurate?

BMI has its weaknesses, is simplistic and should only be taken as an estimate or guide for most people. As an example, it is not appropriate for pregnant woman or children. A person may be heavy due to a high percentage of muscle rather than fat and still be considered overweight (it does not differentiate between the two).

We can generally find our own ideal weight according to how healthy we feel and look.