White-Wilson Medical Center

Know Your Numbers

Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are two common measures health care providers use to help determine if a patient is at an unhealthy weight.

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is an effective predictor of obesity and health problems that compares your weight to your height. Adults with a BMI of 25 or higher are considered at risk for serious health issues. The chart below serves as a guide for determining your BMI.

Waist circumference

Studies have shown that having too much fat around your stomach can also increase your risk of heath issues. To measure your waist circumference, wrap a tape measure around your natural waistline, located just above your hip bones. A healthy waist circumference is:

  • 35 inches or less for women
  • 40 inches or less for men

Remember: BMI should not be the sole tool to assess risk. For example, people with higher muscle density (such as atheltes) may be perfectly healthy at a higher BMI.