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Body Mass Index

Reference Scale

Under weight < 18.5

Normal weight 18.5 -- 24.9

Over weight 25.0 -- 29.9

Obesity 30 or greater 


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adults.


There are limitations of using BMI to estimate body fat. It may under estimate body fat in older persons who may have lost muscle mass. Still, it is used by Medicare and insurance companies to determine eligibility for coverage. Weight loss surgery is indicated for appropriate persons with a BMI of 30 or greater. Medicare and insurance companies require a person's BMI to be greater than 35. If your BMI is 30-34.9 you can still have weight loss surgery but Medicare or private insurance will not cover the cost.