BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and is a number based on your weight in relation to your height. Although it is not a measure of body fat, it does assess your health risk for weight-related conditions.
Find your BMIThe calculation for BMI produces a range of healthy weights. There are also many charts available. To read this one: Find your height in inches on the left column. Then find your weight to the right. Go upwards to find your BMI.
Link to this Chart
The weight ranges for each height are generous (ex. 5'2" is 104-131); the weights on the higher end for each height is for those adults with a larger body frame.
What does your BMI Number mean?
As BMI goes up, your risk for weight-related diseases goes up as well.
For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, it is recommended that you lose weight. Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. People who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have fewer than two risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.
Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and whether you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and other risk factors for heart disease.
The good news is even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing those diseases.
National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm