Skip to content

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

What to read next

Ramadan and Diabetes

How do Ramadan and diabetes combine? What are some guidelines for Muslims wanting to observe Ramadan? We asked Dr Nafisa Khan and Tahmeed Omar to

Read More

Diabetes Stories

We know that it can be hard to take in all the information you need to manage diabetes. If you’re looking for an easy way

Read More
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community


  1. […] or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. It is most commonly measured by BMI, thoughthere are other methods such as waist and height ratios that are taken with BMI and can be […]

What do you think?

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.