When considering your weight, perhaps the first thing to do is to determine if you
have excess fat, or more accurately, excess adiposity. Polling suggests that more
than half of people who are overweight or obese are not aware that they are. Not
only a high proportion of total body weight that is fat, but also and even more
important, an abdominal distribution of fat elevates health risk. There are several
ways to determine adiposity. The most accurate would be to measure the weight of
body fat as a proportion of total body weight. Since this is not easy, surrogate measures,
such as body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are used. The BMI
approximates the percent of a person’s body weight that is made up of fat based on
their height and weight.

A convenient way to calculate BMI is to go online to the website of the CDC:

You can also use the following formulae:

English Units BMI Formula:
BMI=Weight in pounds x 703 / height in inches x height in inches
Example for 130 pound, 5ft 6 in. person
130 x 703 / 66 x 66
91390 / 4356 = 20.98
BMI = 20.98

Metric Units BMI Formula:
BMI = Weight in Kilograms / height in meters x height in meters
Example for an 81 kilogram, 1.8 meter person
81 / 1.8 x 1.8
81 / 3.24 = 25
BMI = 25

A BMI of 18.5–24.9 is considered to be normal. Overweight is commonly defined
as a BMI of between 25 and 29.9. Obesity is commonly defined as a BMI of 30
or more. Although BMI is a commonly used way to approximate adiposity, it does
have some important limits. For example, it may overestimate body fat in athletes
and others who have a muscular build. And, it often underestimates body fat in
people who are older, sedentary, or are frail and have lost muscle mass.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.