Body Mass Index: Female vs. Male Figures Explained

If you are interested in determining whether you are overweight, underweight or just right, the body mass index females can provide you with a general idea of your weight status. If you are a woman looking to quickly and easily get an estimation of your weight category, this is a simple tool that will get you on your way.

What is BMI?

Body mass index is a formula that uses both height and weight to determine if you are considered of healthy weight. The formula uses the same criteria for men, women and children, and therefore the results are often considered inconclusive, as there is such variation between sexes, ages, and ethnicities on what a healthy weight is. However, the index does provide a good baseline and can be helpful in determining if you are at risk for health problems associated with being overweight or underweight.

How Do I Calculate My BMI?

To find your BMI, you complete the following equation:

BMI = weight (pounds) x 703

               Height2 (inches2)

How Do I Interpret the Results?

There are typically four categories associated with BMI ranges for both men and women. They are:

  • Below 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5-25: Normal
  • 26-29: Overweight
  • 30+: Obese

This scale has been effective in assessing women’s and men’s weights and determining whether or not they are at risk for developing certain obesity-related diseases.

BMI is meant primarily as a screening tool and not meant to diagnose any medical condition. Consult with your doctor to determine if your BMI rating coupled with other issues such as other lifestyle risk factors and your waist circumference put you at risk for obesity-related diseases.

Are These Results Accurate?

Women typically have 25% body fat at a healthy weight, where men have 15%. However, using the BMI test, BMI values for men are slightly larger than women.

BMI and overall health are correlated strongly; however, because this formula does not take into account any factors other than weight and height, it is not always completely accurate. Men and women, along with different ethnicity groups tend to have different results using this formula.

Though men may have slightly higher BMI results than women, this does not necessarily mean that they are more overweight. Some issues directly related to the differences between men’s and women’s results are:

  • With the same BMI, women typically have more body fat than men
  • Men typically have more muscle than women, and muscle weight more than fat
  • Median men have higher BMI values than median women; however the “gap” between men’s and women’s median BMI changes with age. Being overweight tends to increase with age and at a greater extent in women than in men.

Even with differences between men’s and women’s results, the tool has been very effective in helping with disease prevention and awareness. If you are concerned about your BMI, talk to your doctor to determine if your weight is within a healthy range. If not, your doctor can work with you to set up a plan that takes into account your diet and lifestyle issues that can help you improve your health for the years to come.


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  • Anne

    I was wondering – you give data about obesity and such, but you don’t give any data on the age to BMI graph/correlation. That might be helpful.