What is a BMI chart and how do you interpret it?
You can check your BMI using a BMI calculator, the BMI formula or a BMI chart. The decision is down to your individual preference.
A BMI calculator computes your BMI value and will usually indicate the category your BMI falls into. If you use the BMI formula, you’ll need to be able to interpret your BMI figure. You may think that using a BMI chart will be complicated but in fact it’s simple and useful as it gives a visual illustration of your BMI in relation to the general population. BMI charts and tables often also indicate the weight category you fall into.
The are many different charts and tables available online. Below is an example of one. It gives an easy to use BMI range so that you can see immediately what your BMI is and your weight category using your height and weight.
Firstly, you find your height in the left hand column and then follow it over to find your weight. You can then follow this figure up to see your BMI value and your weight category. For example, if you are 60 inches tall and your weight is 118 pounds, you can follow that up to see your BMI is 23 and you fall into a normal weight category.
Here is another colourful BMI chart that allows you to use either metric or imperial height and weight measurements to find your BMI and weight category. This is shown below. It displays BMI as a function of weight on the vertical axis and height on the horizontal axis and uses colour coding for different BMI categories.
Again it’s simple to use. You find your height on the bottom and your weight at the sides and then follow each until you find their meeting point and this is your BMI. The colour coding helps decipher your weight category.
We can use the same example as before, of 60 inches (5 foot) in height and a weight of 118 pounds. On this chart you will see that weight increases in twenty pound increments. So for a weight of 118 pounds the nearest column is 120 pounds. You should follow this down and find that your BMI is 23 and within the healthy weight category. You could use a BMI calculator or BMI formula to find out exactly what your BMI is.
Interestingly charts and tables allow you to see whereabouts within your weight category you fall. In the working example you can see that you would sit towards the upper end of the healthy weight category. With this information, it may be then useful to monitor your BMI regularly to ensure you don’t fall into the next category of being overweight.
BMI charts and tables provide useful diagrams to help you monitor your BMI and easily see your BMI weight category. This information offers you a guide to your weight category and may prompt you to make appropriate lifestyle changes as necessary.