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BMI Charts

Understanding The BMI Charts

According to the body mass index, people are categorized based on normal weight, overweight, or obese. The most common table used in studies is the one from the World Health Organization, which is also used by the German Organization for Nutrition.

BMI Table WHO:

Meaning BMI
Normal weight 19–24,9
Overweight 25–29,9
Obesity level I 30–34,9
Obesity level II 35–39,9
Obesity level III ≥ 40

Neither age nor gender is not considered here. The BMI Formula requires only height weight. Therefore there are other categories. For example, the American National Research Council published a table of normal body mass index based on age in 1989.

BMI Table NCR:

Age BMI
19–24 19–24
25–34 20–25
35–44 21–26
45–54 22–27
55–64 23–28
Ab 65 24–29

In practice, the WHO table is used even if it is now known that a slightly higher BMI with increasing age can have quite positive effects on life expectancy and health.



Athletes have a real problem with the body mass index, especially strength athletes carry a high weight due to muscle mass. Because of this, a fit body builder or boxer can be marked overweight. BMI simply doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat. But this is not the only problem with using the body mass index as a criterion for evaluating being overweight.