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Fitness and Wellness

Use this formula to check if you’re overweight, obese or just the right weight

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.



Obesity is fast becoming an epidemic. Many people carry more weight (fatty weight) than they ought to. And this is not without consequences. Obesity has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, breathing problems, joint disease (osteoarthritis), some cancers, and disease involving body fat (dyslipidaemia). When smoking and alcohol are added, they further worsen your chance of living a full, healthy life.
There is a way to check if you have high body fat using simple maths. BMI (body mass index in full) is used to measure fatness, it is a cheap screening test. It is a scientific formula that uses your weight and height to assess you, and also check your risk for certain diseases. To use this formula, your weight is measured in kilograms (kg) and your height is measured in metres (m).
To calculate your BMI, the formula is

weight in kg/ (height in m)^2

For example, you weigh 64kg, and your height is 1.62m, you would calculate your BMI as:

This equals 24.4

Do the math using your own height and weight and tell us in the comments what your BMI is.


What your score means

It is expected that every person falls within the range of 18.5-24.9 which is healthy weight. Anything less or more is considered abnormal.

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are said to be underweight
  • If it is between 24.9 and 30, you are overweight.
  • You are obese once it is greater than 30.
  • At values greater than 40, you are considered morbidly obese.

In some people, this is assessed against other factors. For example, special BMI graphs are used in children, and an athlete may have a BMI greater than 24.9 due to increased muscle mass. Your family history and rate of physical activity also matter.
We look forward to discovering your BMI with you. Feel free to share yours, as well as your opinions.

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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo