Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.
What is BMI?
Overweight and obesity are based on body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of an individual’s weight in relation to his or her height. BMI is highly correlated with body fat and is widely used to indicate health risks.5 According to new Canadian guidelines, aligned with those of the World Health Organization, BMI is classified into six categories, each representing a different level of risk:
BMI is calculated as follows:
Metric: BMI=weight(kg)/height (metres )2
Non-metric: BMI=weight(pounds)/height (inches)2 x 703
For example, the weight cut points for a 5’10” (1.78m) person and a 5’4” (1.63 m) person would be: