What is body mass index (BMI)?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

The BMI is a continuous, although imperfect, measure of body fatness. Calculated as weight (kg) divided by height (m2), BMI corrects for body size and can be readily and reliably quantified in clinical settings. The BMI correlates closely with total body fat (TBF), which is estimated using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning in children who are overweight and obese.


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