Weighing in on the value of the body mass index
Your BMI estimates your body fat better than the number on a scale. But a tape measure is an equally important tool.
As your BMI rises above 25, so does your risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The body mass index (BMI), a measurement derived from the relationship between your weight and your height (see box), is a common way to estimate body fat. It's a simple, fast, and essentially free tool that enables doctors to help identify people who might be at risk for health problems—including cardiovascular disease—that are linked to excess body fat.