BMI Calculator for Seniors

The BMI (body mass index) is an important indicator of general health. All adults should keep their BMI between 18 and 24.9, according to guidelines. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or higher. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater.

However, a few extra pounds may not be as hazardous to persons over the age of 65 as they are to those younger. Being underweight is actually something that older adults should avoid. 

For older folks, this article will explain appropriate weight ranges and BMI for seniors. It will also assist you in understanding how BMI affects older folks and why being underweight is bad for them.


How Do You Calculate BMI?

Body mass index is a single statistic that indicates the connection between a person’s height and weight. It is not affected by frame size.

BMI is computed by multiplying the weight by the square of the height:

  • BMI = body weight (in kg) ÷ height (in meters) squared
BMI less than 18.5Below normal weight
BMI 18.5 to under 24.9Normal weight
BMI 25 to under 29.9Overweight
BMI 30 to under 34.9Class I Obesity
BMI 35 to under 39.9Class II Obesity
BMI 40 or greaterClass III Obesity

BMI Chart for Seniors

Bmi for Seniors

What BMI is optimal for seniors?

Between the range of 25 to 27. It is frequently preferable to have a BMI between 25 and 27, rather than under 25, among elderly persons. A little higher BMI, for example, may help prevent bone loss if you’re over 65. (osteoporosis).

Is the Body Mass Index always correct?

  • The body mass index (BMI) is one tool that healthcare practitioners can use to assess if a person is at a healthy weight, but there are additional aspects to consider.
  • Because muscle is heavier than fat, the body mass index may exaggerate body fat in persons who are muscular, such as bodybuilders, boxers, and other professional sports. This means that an athletic person may be classified as fat based simply on their BMI, despite the fact that they are at a healthy weight.
  • On the other hand, elderly persons with muscle mass loss due to aging may have their body fat proportion underestimated.
  • For pregnant women, BMI should not be utilized as a measurement.

Almost all studies that use BMI scores agree on a few points:

  • Obese or extremely obese people have a far higher risk of dying from any cause.
  • People who are underweight are also more likely to die. This is assumed to be due to underlying disease processes, such as heart disease, lung illness, cancer, or infection, which, on their own, frequently result in weight loss as the disease progresses.

If there is a point of contention, it revolves around people who are overweight but not obese, or whose BMI is slightly higher than 25. Even in this mild condition of overweight, most studies reveal an increased medical risk, while a few studies show a slightly lower risk for these people.

Several theories have been proposed to explain this apparent mismatch. The argument that the BMI measurement—which merely takes into account one’s weight and height—often delivers a deceptive indication of “overweight” when a person is just in good form and has good muscle mass is the one that has gained the greatest traction.

That is, “extra” weight for healthy persons with BMIs of 25 or 26 may not be fat.

The Obesity Paradox in Heart Disease

  • Since the early 2000s, research into heart disease mortality has indicated that persons with a BMI in the overweight range have a higher chance of survival. This conclusion has been backed up by major systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies.
  • The “obesity paradox” refers to the belief that people with BMI measurements above the normal range had lower cardiovascular mortality.
  • A study published in the journal Heart in 2015 gathered data from 89 trials that included almost 1.3 million participants with coronary artery disease.
  • 2 Underweight people had the highest risk of both short and long-term mortality (over three years).
  • When compared to those with a BMI in the normal weight range, those who were overweight or obese had a lower risk of short- and long-term mortality. Those who were obese, on the other hand, had a greater risk of death after five years of follow-up.
  • An analysis of 65 previous research comprising 865,774 participants who had undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery or coronary revascularization with the percutaneous coronary intervention was published in 2018.

The study found that underweight people had higher all-cause mortality than normal-weight adults, while overweight, obese, and severely obese people had lower all-cause mortality. The lowest risk of significant adverse cardiovascular events was found to be in the overweight BMI range.

Why is there an obesity paradox?

According to current thinking, BMI is an inadequate estimate of a person’s cardiovascular risk since it ignores muscle mass and overall cardiorespiratory fitness. Very fit athletes, for example, frequently have high BMIs.

People who were formerly overweight and later developed heart disease sometimes have muscle wasting, and their BMIs may return to normal. As a result, the BMI alone may provide an inaccurate picture of a person’s cardiovascular health.

Many specialists now believe that rather than depending on BMI to assess whether weight contributes to cardiovascular risk, we should focus on belly fat.

BMI and Abdominal Fat

  • Too much fat in the abdominal area, in particular, puts the cardiovascular system under severe metabolic stress and raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • The BMI index is quite accurate for recognizing people who are either underweight or extremely overweight (it’s tough to gain enough muscle mass to raise your BMI above 30 without using steroids), but it’s less reliable for detecting people who are simply overweight.
  • There are some people who have BMIs in the 25 to 29 range simply because they are in excellent form. However, those folks are most likely aware of their identity.
  • To lower the risk of diseases associated with obesity, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that men aim for a waist circumference under 40 inches and women aim for a waist circumference under 35 inches.

So, if you have a “overweight” BMI, answer this one question: Is your waist size smaller than your hip size?

If that’s the case, you’re probably in great physical form, and the “extra” weight contributing to your BMI score is a muscle, not fat. However, if you answered “no” and have centrally accumulated fat, you should be concerned.

While the BMI score can be useful and simple to calculate, the waist-to-hip ratio is likely the more essential indicator of cardiovascular risk.

Leave a Comment