A Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator is a tool used by South Africans to estimate an individual’s total body fat, based on height and weight.
This calculator can be helpful for people who are tracking their health, as it provides insight into potential health risks associated with being overweight or obese.
To use the BMI calculator, simply enter your height in centimetres and your weight in kilograms.
The calculated result is then placed on a graph that can guide whether your BMI falls within a healthy range for adults living in South Africa. Weight (in kg): Height (in cm): Calculate BMI
|BMI range - kg/m2
|16 - 17
|17 - 18.5
|18.5 - 25
|25 - 30
|Obese Class I
|30 - 35
|Obese Class II
|35 - 40
|Obese Class III
How to Calculate BMI in South Africa
Calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) is a straightforward process.
Understanding BMI: BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy.
Tools Required: You will need a scale to measure weight in kilograms (kg) and a tape measure or any other tool to measure height in meters (m).
Measure Your Weight: Stand on the scale. Record your weight in kilograms. Ensure you're not holding anything to get an accurate measurement.
Measure Your Height: Stand against a wall without shoes. Place a flat object (like a book) on top of your head, ensuring it's level. Mark the point on the wall. Use the tape measure to measure from the floor to the mark. Record your height in meters. Accuracy is key, so take care to measure correctly.
Convert Your Height to Meters: If your height is not already in meters, convert it. For instance, if your height is measured in centimetres (cm), divide the number by 100 to get your height in meters.
Calculate BMI: BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The formula is: BMI= Weight in kg /(Height in meters)^2
Use the Formula: Plug your measurements into the formula. For example, if you weigh 70kg and are 1.75m tall, your BMI calculation will be 70/1.75×1.75
Perform the Calculation: Use a calculator for this step. First, square your height (multiply the height by itself). Then divide your weight by this number.
Interpret the Result: The resulting number is your BMI. Compare this number to BMI categories:
Under 18.5: Underweight
18.5 – 24.9: Normal weight
25 – 29.9: Overweight
30 or higher: Obesity
Consult a Healthcare Professional: If your BMI falls into the underweight or obese categories, or if you have health concerns, consult a healthcare professional for advice.
What is BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure that provides an indication of your body size, calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres/centimetres.
It can be used as one factor to estimate your risk for heart attack or stroke.
However, it's important to note that BMI does not take into account age, gender, ethnicity and body composition such as fat and muscle mass and therefore cannot provide a reliable overall representation of healthiness.
For certain groups including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, people aged 19 years and under, athletes with significant muscle mass and those with illnesses affecting fluid levels like heart failure; the accuracy of BMI is further limited due to its incapacity to acknowledge such factors.
In addition to tracking BMI via weight measurement, waist circumference can also be used to assess risk through measuring abdominal fat - however, this too has its limitations and reduces accuracy in pregnant women, children and those with enlarged tums due to medical conditions.
The best way to reach a healthy weight is to maintain a balance between nutritious eating patterns for a healthy diet alongside regular physical activity.
Key Things to Understand
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimate of your overall health that is determined by taking into account both your height and weight.
It can provide important insight for uncovering potential cardiovascular health risks like heart attack or stroke, however, it does not take into consideration several other factors such as cholesterol level and blood pressure which will add an extra layer of detail to the analysis.
Furthermore, BMI has its own fair share of drawbacks due to it being an imprecise measure in certain individuals.
For this reason, reaching out to a knowledgeable medical practitioner such as a General Practitioner (GP) and/or Accredited Practising Dietitian can prove beneficial to helping you achieve and maintain desirable weight health.
Is Body Mass Index reliable?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way for you to gauge whether or not your weight sits within the bounds of a healthy range when compared with your height.
Recently, it has drawn criticism as an accurate assessment of individual health due to its failure to consider discrepancies like body composition and muscle mass.
Unfortunately, research shows that carrying excess weight can have severe consequences on one's health, often leading to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even certain types of cancer.
The prevalence of these ailments associated with overweight or obesity suggests the need for more precise measures beyond BMI in order to accurately evaluate an individual's overall wellness from a physical perspective.