While there are many attributes that are taken into account to determine if you are eligible for weight loss surgery, calculating your BMI (body mass index) is the first step.
What is BMI?
In general, your BMI is a relatively accurate measurement of “body fatness” in relation to your height. It is a good preliminary indicator to determine if your health is at risk because of your weight.
How is BMI used?
Periodically, the government and healthcare organizations publish data that associates an individual’s body mass index to health problems. In terms of obesity and morbid obesity, a higher BMI makes you more susceptible to “comorbid” conditions, such as:
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis, degradation/wearing of joints
- Depression and psychological problems
Calculating your BMI
Body mass index is calculated the same way for both adults and children, though is interpreted differently depending on the age and sex. The easiest method is to use a web-based calculator, as we have provided. You can also calculate your BMI by hand by using the standard formula:
weight (lbs) / [height (in)2] x 703
Example: Sara weighs 232 pounds, and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall. We can plug her information into the equation.
[232 ÷ (66) 2] x 703 = 37.44
232 represents Sara’s weight in pounds; 66 represents Sara’s height in inches; and 703 is the standardized factor that is used to find the body mass index. In this case, her BMI comes out to about 37.4, which is considered morbidly obese.
You can also determine your body mass index by viewing our Body Mass Index Table.