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You are under optimum weight for your height. Being underweight can carry health risks for both men and women. Check with your doctor or dietitian to find out if your current weight is healthy for you.
You have a healthy weight for your height.
You are over optimum weight for your height. You may be facing health problems, so losing some weight would be a good idea.
You are over optimum weight for your height. You may be facing health risks, so see your doctor to help you achieve a healthier weight.
A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A result below 18.5 indicates that you may be underweight; a figure above 24.9 indicates that you may be overweight.
BMI does not distinguish between weight due to muscle and weight due to fat, so it does not take into account differences in body composition. An elite sportsperson may have a high muscle mass, and a BMI above 25, but not be carrying excess body fat. If you have a BMI in the overweight range (between 25 and 29.9), your doctor can advise you whether you are truly overweight.
If you have a BMI over 30, you are likely to be overweight and may be obese, depending on your body composition, again seek your doctor's advice.
These BMI measures may not be suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whose healthy BMI range may be different from that for Australians of European descent. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have relatively long legs in relation to weight, which is a factor known to influence BMI.
Similarly, for Asian and Indian people, cut-off points for health risks appear to be lower than for Australians of European descent.
Always check with your doctor if you are concerned about your weight.
Last Reviewed: 07 July 2014
- 1. Overweight and obesity [revised June 2009]. In: eTG complete [Internet]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2010 Mar (Accessed 2010 Jun 1.). Available at: http://www.tg.org.au/
2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults - Measuring overweight and obesity (updated 2004, Mar 19). Available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/7AF116AFD4E2EE3DCA256F190003B91D/$File/adults_part3.pdf (accessed 2010, Jun 1)
3. World Health Organization (WHO). BMI classification (updated 2010, Jun 1). Available at: http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp?introPage=intro_3.html (accessed 2010, Jun 1)
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [website]. Defining overweight and obesity (updated 2009, Dec 8). Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/defining.html (accessed 2010, Jun 3)