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How to calculate your body mass index (BMI)

Woman standing on a scale
Updated: December 5, 2020
Posted In: Best Of The Web

In the world of weight loss and bariatric surgery, you’ll become very familiar with the term “body mass index,” or BMI.

Your BMI is a calculation that uses the ratio of your height to your weight to determine the amount of body fat you have. Many fitness experts and health care professionals will calculate your BMI to see if your body weight falls within the average range for your height.

By medical standards, a normal, healthy BMI falls between the range of 18 and 25. Individuals who are considered overweight have a BMI that falls between 25 and 30, and those considered obese will have a BMI of 30 and above.

Previously, hospitals and bariatric surgery clinics had strict requirements in place for those who sought weight-loss treatment to reverse their obesity. Today, lots of medical evidence has shown that bariatric surgery can help both overweight and obese individuals become healthier by reversing many of the comorbidities related to carrying excess weight, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Although BMI calculations are still important to see where you measure up in terms of body weight, the best way to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery is to schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon.

The Internet is host to a number of BMI calculators, but to make sure you’re being provided with the most accurate results, you can calculate your BMI on your own using a calculator and measuring tape.

If you find that your BMI falls within the overweight or obesity range after using the formula below, attend our free live seminar to learn more about the benefits of undergoing weight-loss surgery.

Calculating your BMI

  1. Multiply your current weight in pounds by the number “703.”
  2. Divide the result by your height in inches (keep in mind there are 12 inches in one foot).
  3. Divide that result by your height in inches once more.

For example, an individual who weighs 190 pounds and is 5’3” in height (63 inches) would calculate BMI in the following manner:

  1. 190 x 703 = 133,570
  2. 133,570 / 63 = 2,120
  3. 2,120 / 63 = 33

The individual in the example has a BMI of 33, and may be considered an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery.


If you are interested in weight loss surgery, check out MBL’s Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss surgery.




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