Body Mass Index (BMI)

The body mass index is a measure of the ratio of fat to muscle mass in the human body. Medical professionals use this measure as a means of computing a healthy weight for a patient. The formula for the equation is body mass (weight expressed in kilograms) divided by the square of the body height (expressed in meters), and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2. This computed value is then compared to a chart that breaks the BMI into categories of underweight (less than 18.5%), normal (18.5-25%), overweight (25-30%) and obese (more than 30%). However, within medical circles it is still debated as to how accurate these current guidelines are.