Doylestown Hospital
595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System
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Body Mass Index (BMI)
Heart Attack Risk Assessment Tool
Heart-Health Screening

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A good way to determine if your weight is healthy for your height
is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Being overweight puts
strain on your heart and can lead to serious health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Varicose veins


    The Body/Mass Index (BMI) estimates how much you should weigh, based on your height. Here are the steps to calculate your BMI.

    1. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
    2. Divide that answer by your height in inches.
    3. Divide that answer by your height in inches again.

    For example, a woman who weighs 270 pounds and is 68 inches tall
    has a BMI of 41.0.

    Use the chart below to see what category your BMI falls into,
    and whether you need to be concerned about your weight.

    BMI                CATEGORY
    Below 18.5    Underweight
    18.5 - 24.9    Healthy
    25.0 - 29.9    Overweight
    30.0 - 39.9    Obese
    Over 40         Morbidly obese

    BMI is not always an accurate way to determine whether you need to
    lose weight. Here are some exceptions:

    Body builders: Because muscle weighs more than fat, people who are
    unusually muscular may have a high BMI.

    Elderly: In the elderly it is often better to have a BMI between 25
    and 27, rather than under 25. If you are older than 65, for example,
    a slightly higher BMI may help protect you from osteoporosis.

    Children: While an alarming number of children are obese, do not use
    this BMI calculator for evaluating a child. Talk to your pediatrician
    about the appropriate weight for your child's age.

    Doctors use a few different methods to determine whether you are
    overweight.  Your doctor may also take your waist circumference and
    waist-to-hip ratio into consideration.