Body Mass Index and Age: What’s the connection?

Body mass index (BMI) is one of the most important indicators of healthy weight and general health. Despite the spread of millions of tools that help calculate this indicator, several other factors, such as gender, health status, and age, should also be considered. Read on to learn more about this topic and if BMI changes according to age.

Published on:Apr 25th 2024
مؤشر كتلة الجسم حسب العمر

What is body mass index?

It is the number resulting from dividing an adult’s weight in kilograms by the square of his height in meters. Here is the interpretation of different BMI results:

  • If the BMI is less than 18.5, the person is underweight.
  • When the BMI is between 18.5 and 24.5, this indicates that the person has a healthy weight.
  • While, a body mass index between 25 and 29.9 suggests the person is overweight.
  • If the index is 30 or more, this shows obesity.

It is important to note that these numbers do not apply to children and teens. While protecting them from childhood obesity is very important for their health, it is essential to focus on healthy nutrition and encourage them to exercise, avoid consuming processed foods and sweets, and not be obsessed with being skinny to prevent developing an eating disorder.

The World Health Organization's standards for children’s weight, shown in the illustrations below, consider the child's age stage.

Body mass index and age

Age is not a factor in BMI for adults, but it is for children. This is because children usually grow larger as they age. It is important to note that calculating the body mass index differs for older adults, as general body health, fat levels, bone strength, and mobility are considered. Therefore, it is preferable to calculate the body mass of older adults over 65 years old only by doctors and to follow the appropriate diet.

Other criteria for healthy weight

The body mass index alone is not considered sufficient to indicate a healthy weight, or what many call the ideal weight. Instead, there are other criteria, the most important of which are:

Waist Circumference

This indicates the accumulation of excess weight and fat in the abdominal area, which suggests that the person does not have proper fitness and a healthy weight. According to experts at the Centers for Disease Control, if a waist circumference exceeds 89 centimeters for women And 101 for men, it increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, paying attention to maintaining a healthy weight while being physically fit is essential, not just looking at the scale and calculating the body mass index.

Waist-hip ratio

Where a ratio is taken that compares the waist circumference with the circumference of the hips, a higher ratio is closely linked to higher visceral fat levels, the fat found in the abdominal cavity surrounding many major organs.

Risk factors

When evaluating a person's ideal weight, it is also essential to pay attention to health risk factors such as:


Instead of obsessing over the so-called ideal weight and using various mathematical equations, looking at weight more comprehensively is essential. Focus on eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and increasing muscle mass through weight-bearing exercises. It is also necessary to take care of your mental and physical health, conduct periodic examinations, and take health supplements prescribed by your doctor if required.

OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

Related post