Body mass index, commonly referred to as BMI, is a way to assess a person’s tissue mass, including bone, muscle, and fat. It is used for both men and women, but variations exist for children, and normative ranges can vary depending on a person’s race. Both high and low BMI values have important health implications. This entry first explains how to calculate BMI and how it is used; then, limitations and alternatives to BMI are presented, followed by the implications of BMI results and, finally, its use in children.


BMI is calculated by measuring one’s weight in kilograms divided by one’s height in meters squared:


In the United States, height and weight are regularly measured in pounds and feet, respectively; thus, the values must be converted to ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles