Body Mass Index
The United States is becoming more health conscious, and as a result, the problem of obesity has gotten more attention. The Body Mass Index (BMI), relates a person’s height and weight, and is often used to determine if someone is overweight. The table below tells the weight status for a given BMI.
BMI |
Weight Status |
Below 18.5 |
Underweight |
18.5 - 24.9 |
Normal |
24.9 - 29.9 |
Overweight |
29.9 and above |
Obese |
The BMI is calculated using the formula:
Solving this formula for h, we see that h = sqrt[703w / BMI]
1. Find the weight of your favorite celebrity. This could be a movie or television personality, athlete, politician or even yourself.
2. Using the weight from part 1, determine the height the celebrity would need to be in order to fall into each of the four weight status categories listed in the table. In other words, select a BMI less than 18.5 (any value, you make it up) and find “h”; then repeat using a new BMI in the range from 18.5 to 24.9, and so on.
3. Using the Internet or other library resource, find the actual height of the celebrity.
4. Determine his or her actual weight status (underweight, normal, overweight or obese) using the original BMI formula at the top of the instructions.
5. How tall would he or she need to be for the normal weight status?
6. Would you consider him or her to actually be in the weight status this formula says based on his or her actual height and weight and considering his or her other physical characteristics? Why or why not? Think about why there may be differences in your calculations and the actual figures.
7. The BMI formula was created by a Belgian Statistician (not a physician), Lambert Adolphe Quetelet, in the early 1830s. Do you think BMI is a fair indication of a person’s weight classification? Why or why not?
8. Summarize your findings in writing using proper style and grammar.
Include references formatted according to APA style if you are using any information that is not common knowledge.
The answ