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Body Mass Index (BMI) is related to body fat. It is a tool for indicating weight status for all individuals (except children younger than two).
If your BMI is high (BMI > 85th percentile for children between 2 and 20; BMI > 25 for adults older than 20), you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases, especially: coronary heart disease, hypertension, lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea/respiratory problems, and some cancers.
If you need more information about general nutrition and physical activity that would reduce risk of becoming overweight, you can find more information by calling ISDH Family Help Line at 1-800-433-0716 or ISDH Community Nutrition/Obesity Prevention Program at 1-800-433-0746. You may also access the Indiana Maternal and Child Health website.
You should use the BMI calculator only as a self-monitoring tool. BMI alone is not diagnostic. It is not the only indicator of health risk and is just one of many factors related to developing a chronic disease (such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes). Other factors that may be important to look at when assessing your risk for chronic disease include:
If your BMI is greater than normal range, you should not go on a diet and/or start an exercise program without first having your doctor check your health and make any appropriate recommendations. Please remember, you should contact licensed health care professionals including family physicians, nurse practitioners, and/or registered dietitians for information and evaluation.