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BMI - Body Mass Index

Dr. Girouard - Let's Get Thin

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool used to indicate and quantify weight status in adults. Calculated from a person's weight and height, BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. While it does not measure body fat directly, research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). These calculations are then used to determine weight categories that may lead to risk for developing additional health problems. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI, but to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
The formula is: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

BMI - Formula & Calculation

To the right is a basic BMI Calculator which you can use to determine your BMI. Just type in your weight and height and click on the "Calculate BMI" button to see the result. You can also check your score against the BMI table provided. The standard weight status categories associated with BMI ranges for adults are:

  • 18.5 - 24.9 = Normal
  • 25.0 - 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30.0 - 34.9 = Obesity Class I
  • 35.0 - 39.9 = Obesity Class II
  • > 40 = Obesity Class III

Just remember, while the correlation between the BMI number and body fatness is fairly strong; the correlation varies by sex, race, and age. These variations include the following examples: 1, 2

  • At the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.
  • At the same BMI, older people, on average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults.
  • Highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.


Please feel free to call us on 704.766.1000 if you need any help.

BMI Table

PBF - Percentage Body Fat

Dr. Girouard - Let's Get Thin

While BMI is a frequently used and understood index by both researchers and clinicians, like most tools, it has limitations in universal application to all patients. For this reason, our clinic also utilizes information about the patient's body composition via our InBody230 machine. The InBody230, by Biospace America, uses bioelectrical impedance to evaluate the ratio of muscle mass and body fat rather than body weight alone. It is proven to be a safe, easy, and effective tool, and, because of direct measurement, is now acknowledged to give a more accurate assessment of body fat content than BMI. By combining both methods, we feel we can better assess a patient's overall health status and work together to reach their optimal health goals.

BMI isn't a measurement but a calculation based on your height and weight. A BMI over the normal range can indicate a weight problem, or a degree of obesity. Individuals with large amounts of muscle mass for their height may also have a BMI over the normal range, this is not indicative of obesity or a health risk. Percentage of Body Fat is a measured component of your actual body composition. PBF is the percentage of your total weight that isn't muscle, bone or excess fluid. PBF is a more accurate means of assessing degrees of obesity or degrees of fitness.

At Dr. Girouard's Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic we go beyond BMI. The ratio between muscle mass and body fat is more meaningful and important than body weight alone. The InBody230 will look beyond the number on the scale and show you what your body is really made of.

Body Composition consists of 4 major components: Water, Protein, Minerals and Fat. These four elements are the fundamental ingredients the body is comprised of, and it is important for them to be in balance. Body composition analysis is expected to quantify and measure these ingredients. Until recently, diagnosing obesity has focused on appearance, without considering a balanced body composition. For more reasonable health care, accurate body composition analysis must be performed first, to achieve the balance of the four major body components.

"You can experience the Inbody230's great technology through just one result sheet."
Dr. Girouard - Let's Get Thin

What we are made of impacts our health, appearance and our capabilites. Too much Body Fat increases our risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Carrying too much weight places undue strain on our joint, heart and other vital organs.

The InBody identifies the amount of fat in the body along with the appropriate recommended ranges. Body fat accumulation is the result of excess calorie intake. These calories are deposited as fat to preserve energy. Body fat can serve as a protective cushion and a certain amount of fat is considered vital. Too little fat inhibits the body's natural immune response and normal hormone function. Fat insulates the body and can be metabolized to generate heat in response to low temperatures. It is the most concentrated source of caloric energy. Too much body fat can lead to a high risk of disease.

Body composition testing is the process of measuring the components of your body, in short what you are made of. Weight alone is not a clear indication of good health because it does not distinguish how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are lean body mass. By regularly monitoring your Body Fat, and Muscle Mass or Muscular Development, you can understand how your diet, lifestyle and exercise regime are influencing your body composition. Knowing what's working for you can help you target and reach your wellness, appearance and longevity goals.


Weight Loss & Wellness

The Dr. Girouard Diet Program
Dr. Girouard was one of the first to advocate what several recent medical studies have proven to be the most effective, safest and healthiest diet for weight loss. This eating plan is hailed by Dr. Girouard's patients as easy to follow and readily modifiable to suit your individual lifestyles and tastes.
The Dr. Girouard Advantage Program
As you've learned here, there are many measures of health besides the number on the scale. At Dr. Girouard's Let's Get Thin MD™ Weight Loss and Wellness Clinics the goal of our holistic approach is to help you increase your physical functioning, improve mood and energy, and prevent and treat chronic health conditions with our specialized healthy diet, exercise recommendations, and appropriate medications and natural supplements.
We Look Forward To Hearing from You
Licensed providers will see you at each office visit to answer questions, offer guidance, and provide food and lifestyle suggestions to carry you beyond successful weight loss, all the way to the Promised Land of successful weight maintenance. Please contact the office location of your choice to schedule an appointment.

1 Prentice AM and Jebb SA. Beyond Body Mass Index. Obesity Reviews. 2001 August; 2(3): 141-7.
2 Gallagher D, et al. How useful is BMI for comparison of body fatness across age, sex and ethnic groups? American Journal of Epidemiology 1996;143:228-239.