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What is BMI? Easy BMI calculator.

Before we can talk about Body Mass Index (BMI), we need to understand why it’s so important to talk about. There is one statistic from the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (released by Stats SA) that outlines why:

While the percentage of overweight or obesity is similar among urban and non-urban women (68% and 66%, respectively), the prevalence is modestly higher among men in urban areas than among those in non-urban areas (34% and 26%, respectively).

Statistics SA

2 in 3 South African women are obese

This means that 66% to 68% of South African women are obese – 2 in 3! Obesity is a huge problem because it’s a complication for so many health conditions, including diabetes. This is from the World Health Organisation (WHO):

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death worldwide. Being overweight can also lead to diabetes and its associated conditions, including blindness, limb amputations, and the need for dialysis.

World Health Organisation

What is BMI?

So why does BMI matter? In short, BMI tells you if you are in the healthy weight range, or if you are underweight, overweight or obese. It’s a simple calculation that looks at your height and weight, and gives you a number: on a range between 18.5 and 40.0.

What is BMI? BMI classification

Easy BMI calculator

You can do the calculation yourself by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres (squared):

weight (kg) / height (m)²

Or you can use this easy calculator:

What to read next? Weight loss tips

If you’re looking for advice on how to lose weight – or how to manage your weight with diabetes – we have plenty of tips from our experts. You’re not alone in this!

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.