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How Healthy Is Your Weight?

Your BMI can tell you whether you’re carrying too much, too little or just the right amount of body fat

En español | Your body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of your body fat that is based on your height and weight. Doctors use BMI, along with other health indicators, to assess an adult’s current health status and potential health risks.

See also: AARP Health Record: a safe place to manage your family's health information.

You can determine your BMI with the calculator at right. When you click the "Calculate" button you'll be taken to a page with information about your results.


Your BMI is an estimate of your body fat based on your weight and height.

(BMI should not be used to assess a child’s weight because the appropriate weight for a child varies greatly by age.)

Typically, people with higher BMIs have a greater likelihood of developing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. But many factors — including your family history, eating habits and activity level — also influence your overall health.

BMI calculator results are grouped into the broad categories of underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese.

As you review your results keep in mind that BMI has its limits, and that BMI recommendations do differ based on gender and other variables. (For instance, BMI may underestimate body fat in an older person who has lost muscle tone.)

If you have questions or concerns about your BMI results, consult with your doctor or health care provider.

Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp.

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