This is the BMI calculator for women, the tool with which you can calculate whether you have a healthy BMI for women or an obese BMI. Using the BMI calculation formula, we will give you an answer to the questions: "What is my BMI?" and "What is a good BMI for women?". We also explain in detail all the BMI tables for women, the BMI ranges for women and go into why it is important to have a normal BMI.
The following calculator gives you an estimate of your % body fat and lean body mass based on your weight, age, and thickness measurements of 7 skin folds. It is based on the Jackson-Pollock 7-point method and reasonably accurate for most people.
NOTE: Because of the nature of some of the skin fold locations for the 7-point method you will need someone to take some of these measurements for you.
To perform each measurement:
Using the tips of your thumb and forefinger pinch the skin in the area to be measured. Pull the skin away from the muscle, being sure to ‘get’ all the subcutaneous fat underneath the skin but don’t include the underlying muscle. Measure the thickness of this fold of fat and skin, in millimeters, with either a ruler (metric) or skinfold calipers. If you do have calipers, the jaws should be placed close to where the fingertips have the skin pinched so an accurate reading can be obtained (about 1 cm (1/4 in) away from the fingers). Release the caliper’s handles and wait 2 seconds before taking the reading. Take a reading of that same site a few more times (release the fold and get a new ‘pinch’ for each measurement) and take the average – each reading should be within 1 or 2 mm of each other. If you don’t have calipers you’ll have to make do with a ruler. The location of each required skin fold is explained below.
What is the BMI scale and what does it measure?
Most of you reading this already know what BMI is, what it stands for, and you probably have an idea of what a good BMI is. But for those who don't know, and for the sake of completeness, we'll briefly explain what BMI is, how it's measured, and how you can answer the question "What's my BMI?" without using this BMI calculator for women.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a measure of the relationship between two important body metrics: Your weight and your height. BMI is calculated from these two metrics using the following BMI calculation formula:
An important note about this formula is that the units used matter. To find out what a normal BMI is or where you are in the BMI range, you should always use the metric system, i.e. your weight in kilograms and your height in meters.
BMI is not a definitive measure of anything related to health. However, it is a good statistical measure to help us know if something is wrong with our bodies and if we should be concerned about health problems. BMI was never intended to be a diagnostic tool, and it has many weaknesses that we will discuss later. However, because of its simplicity, it is very good for a first approach to statistically determine if someone is underweight or obese so that we can look more deeply into why that is and if there are any health risks.
The normal BMI for women and why it is different from that for men.
When it comes to health and wellness, we are all equally concerned. So why do we make a distinction between men and women? The truth is that although we are all equally affected by health issues, we are not exactly the same physically. So when we talk about health issues, it's important to distinguish between different populations. As you will see later, we are not just talking about women and men. Within each gender, we also divide them into age groups to get the best possible comparison.
What is a good BMI for women? - WHO and BMI categories
In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report entitled Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Page 9 of this report lists all the BMI categories recognized by the WHO and their BMI ranges. We will use this as a reference from now on. We are also adding other subcategories that are consistent with the WHO guidelines. These ranges can be plotted on a BMI chart for women and men. The chart can be seen in the following section.
There are no separate charts for men and women, partly because BMI is only a statistical parameter and does not take into account differences in body shape and musculature between individuals or groups. Another way to look at it is that while women tend to have a higher percentage of healthy body fat, which would make them heavier, men also have a higher percentage of muscle, which weighs more and helps to offset this effect.
Unfortunately, the reality is much more complicated, and this discrepancy only highlights the problem with BMI when dealing with different body types. We will go into more detail about these problems and also discuss the validity of healthy BMI values for women and how we can better assess our body health by combining BMI with other parameters.
BMI Chart for Women and BMI Prime
BMI Prime is a term that is often mentioned in BMI articles and may seem confusing at first glance. It usually ranges from 0.5 to 2, while BMI itself has values between 15 and 40. However, the two are highly correlated. BMI Prime is nothing more than the ratio between the actual BMI and the ideal BMI for women. The value for a healthy or normal BMI for women is 25, the same as for men.
What is the advantage of the BMI Prime scale over the normal BMI scale? If you know what BMI means, BMI Prime not only answers the question "What is my BMI?" but also answers the questions "What is a good BMI?" and "Is my BMI good?" at the same time. With a number that compares healthy BMI for women to your actual BMI, you get twice the information in just one number.
An ideal BMI Prime is 1, which corresponds to a BMI of 25. Even though 1.5 is close to 1, it equates to a BMI of 37.5, which means you are "obese class II" or "severely obese" according to WHO BMI categories.
Another way to compare your BMI and determine if you have a healthy or at least normal BMI is to look at the BMI chart for women. Below you will find the BMI chart for women and men. It is color-coded to distinguish the areas of healthy BMI from those that are risky or dangerous.
For example, as we age, our metabolism deteriorates and it is much easier for us to gain weight than it was before. If you think about it, it's much harder to find an old person at a healthy weight. People tend to be overweight or underweight in their old age compared to their younger years. In any case, it's much better to play it safe and try to stay within an ideal and healthy BMI range for women, because there's nothing to gain but a lot to lose with extreme BMI values.
Differences between the BMI of men and women
It's time to take a look at the differences in BMI between men and women beyond the body composition already mentioned. First, consider the difference in body type, not only between men and women, but also within these groups. If you look at all the men in the world, their general body shape does not differ much, except for the percentage of fat and muscle.
However, if you look at women, their body shape changes dramatically, even among people with the same percentage of body fat and muscle. For example, the size of the bust, the shape and the ratio between the hips and waist. Women's legs also vary much more from woman to woman than they do for men. What does this mean for BMI tables for women? It means a big discrepancy.
If you look at BMI ranges for women, they are the same as for men because they are purely theoretical. If you look at the BMI percentile ranges instead, things look quite different. The spread of BMI values for women is much larger than for men. Let's look at an example to understand this better.
This means that there are proportionally more women than men at the extremes of the BMI ranges. There are two possible reasons for this, and it is likely that they both play a role. First, it could be due to the differences in body shape mentioned above. Because of the wide range of female body types, there is a much wider range of BMI values in women that can still be considered healthy, while the range is much narrower in men.
The other possibility arises from societal pressures. It is undeniable that women are treated differently than men in our society, from the gender pay gap to physical appearance. And it is this pressure on appearance that may be the cause of these extreme cases. Some women are pathologically trying to reach an "ideal weight" that is far too low to be healthy. Others believe that this is all a big lie and that an obese BMI is not a bad thing. Both approaches are very dangerous and potentially life threatening. So, as a society, we need to move towards a more enlightened view of body weight, where health is more important than appearance and unattainable (false) beauty standards.