BMI Calculator for Men

Created by Álvaro Díez and Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Nuttall FQ. Body Mass Index: Obesity, BMI, and Health: A Critical Review. Nutrition Today (May 2015)See 1 more source
WHO Europe Body mass index - BMI
Last updated: Jul 14, 2022

Thanks to this BMI calculator for men you can answer the question "What's my BMI?" while also checking what is a healthy BMI for men, and where you place in the BMI chart for men. Furthermore, with this BMI calculator for male you can obtain more precise data on what's a normal BMI. We also provide tools and guidance on how to improve your position in the BMI ranges for males

What is BMI?

Let's start with the basics, shall we? BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it's a 1-dimensional parameter for assessing body type/category. Depending on the BMI value, you can fall into one of three main categories: underweight, normal or overweight. There are other subcategories, but these three represent the most important groups.

If you are here, you're probably trying to find an answer to the question What is my BMI? For that, you can use the calculator to the left of this text, or you can even calculate it by yourself using the following BMI formula:

BMI = weight / height²

It is important to pay attention to the units since BMI is measured in kg/m².

As you can see, BMI is very simple to calculate which is both its biggest strength and its biggest flaw. Since it uses only height and weight, it leaves out a large amount of factors that affect the body composition of a person such as their lean body mass, body fat or body water percentage. These play a big role in the correct functioning of our bodies.

If you are interested in learning what type of body you have rather than your body mass index, we invite you to visit our waist to height ratio calculator and body type calculator where you will find all the necessary information. Alternatively, we have other calculation tools available to you such as army body fat calculator, navy body fat calculator, both of which will give you other valuable metrics related to your body's health.

Why do we need a BMI calculator for male?

We have seen that the BMI formula does not include a provision for gender, so why then, do we need a BMI calculator for men? The answer is that anthropomorphically adults and kids/teens are different, and, even amongst adults, men and women have different body characteristics. This means that we shouldn't expect the healthy BMI for men to be the same for women, and the same goes for the BMI charts for men and women, or the BMI ranges for male and female.

Broadly speaking, we could compare men and women together and we wouldn't be too far from the reality, but, for improved precision, we have decided to separate our BMI calculators into the 4 main population groups: children, teenagers, men, and women. For each of them, we have a calculator ready so you can get the best results and comparisons no matter your group. Here is a list of the available calculators:

So make sure to check out the one that's relevant to you. Here we will focus only on the BMI charts for men, and all the appropriate values and BMI ranges for the male population only. We're starting in the next section with the different categories of BMI, why they exist, and what they mean.

World Health Organization and BMI categories

When it comes to setting up the different BMI ranges for men, there are almost countless options, which is very much the reason why there are several official ways to group normal BMI for males. For the rest of the text, we will refer to the guidelines presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) on page 9 of their report: Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. The division and categorization made by WHO leads to three major BMI ranges for males (as mentioned above: underweight, normal/healthy, and overweight).

However, each of the categories can be subdivided to make distinctions between slight overweight and hyper-obesity on one end to slightly underweight and severely undernourished on the other. In our calculations, we use the broadest of the BMI groupings, for a total of 11 different BMI ranges for men. As mentioned previously, various organizations have different ways to group values of BMI for men, but most of the thresholds are the same or at a reasonable distance.

It is important to point out that even WHO itself acknowledge the fact that BMI is a statistical parameter. The meaning of such a statement is that having a healthy BMI for men doesn't automatically mean that you are a healthy man. If you have a healthy BMI for men, you are only statistically more likely to be healthy than if you are outside of the normal BMI. We will talk more about the connection between BMI and health in a later section.

BMI range for men and what the percentiles mean

It is very common when we're talking about BMI (or any similar statistical value) to talk about percentiles. Percentiles are generally expressed as an ordinal number, which makes it more confusing. To put it simply, percentiles are a quick way to compare one individual with the whole rest of the population. To understand it better let's see the procedure you should follow if you were to create your own percentile for any statistic.

First of all, you'd need to gather the data for all the people in your population group, for this calculator that would mean collection data of the BMI of men. Then you should divide the data into 100 groups according to their BMI value making sure that each group has the same number of individuals. This way you have made groups gathering 1% of the population each, also called percentiles.

Now you are ready to classify any one individual in their percentile by simply assigning him to the corresponding groups according to his BMI. The position of his group (from lowest to highest BMI) would determine his percentile. For example, if he is in the 25th group with the lowest BMI, he is in the 25th percentile, which in turn means that he has a higher BMI than 25% of the population.

It is important to note that the percentiles have a fixed amount of people in each group, but the BMI values for each group are not evenly spaced. Especially at the extreme ends of the distribution, a significant increase in BMI would result in small change in percentile, whilst in the central values (the most common BMI values) a small change in BMI can result in a big change in percentile.

Last, (but definitely not "least") we should note that, for practical reasons, percentiles are generally grouped together to avoid having too many categories. This means that percentiles are generally clustered together in chunks of at least 5. What this means is that it is very rare to hear about "48th percentile" and you're much more likely to find a jump from percentile 25th to 50th or from 5th to 10th with no mention to percentiles in between.

The reality is that this is not a big issue, especially if we consider that the percentile is a statistical comparison tool that we apply on a purely statistical descriptor such as BMI. Any precision lost in the process of reducing from having 100 percentiles to having 10 groups of 5-percentiles size is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

For example, in this BMI calculator for men, we have grouped the percentiles in 9 groups distributed as follows: 0th-5th, 5th-10th, 10th-15th, 15th-25th, 25th-50th, 50th-75th, 75th-85th, 85th-90th, 90th-95th. With the result in the calculator showing the highest percentile in the group.

Healthy BMI prime and normal BMI

Another measure you should be familiar with is the so-called BMI prime. BMI prime is a derived measure that compares your BMI value as a man with the normal BMI for men or the healthy BMI for men. BMI prime is also available for other populations, but since this is a BMI calculator for males, we shall focus only on the male side of BMI prime.

We have mentioned healthy BMI for men but we have yet to define what it is exactly; so, let's do it. And... here comes the bad news: there's no biological reason why a certain BMI is healthy and others aren't, its all statistical. Not all is lost though, since the statistical origin of BMI guarantees that it will have a certain degree of accuracy for big populations, if not for individuals.

WHO is aware of the shortcomings of BMI as the only tool for assessing what is a ideal body weight and, hence, recommends deeper analysis for accurate diagnosis. WHO also acknowledge that BMI is only accurate for sedentary populations and not for very active populations, growing children or the infirm.

One of the most blatantly obvious shortcomings of BMI is when it is applied to professional athletes. Due to the high percentage of fat-free mass they carry (muscle having a higher density than body fat), most professional athletes are "technically" overweight or even obese according to BMI. So just remember, BMI is not the be-all and end-all of healthy body weight, and has a limited range of use.

Now that we know the limitation of BMI, and how a healthy BMI for men doesn't mean it's healthy for all men, we can now move into explaining BMI prime in depth. BMI prime is a number that results from comparing your actual BMI with the normal BMI or healthy BMI, which is supposed to be below 25. By dividing your BMI by the reference value of 25 (healthy BMI for men), you obtain your BMI prime.

BMI prime will be a number hopefully very close to one, since that is the ideal number we should strive for, if we are part of the sedentary male population. A BMI prime of less than one represents an underweight individual whilst an overweight individual has a BMI prime bigger than one. As with the actual BMI, there are margins of healthy weights, so don't worry if you're sedentary and have a BMI prime of 0.98, you're doing great!

What is my BMI or how to use the BMI calculator for men

Now that we know all the important information about BMI for men, BMI percentiles and BMI ranges for males, it's time to see how this can put all this together by using the BMI calculator for men. At last, you will be able to answer that burning question "What's my BMI?". These are the steps to follow to get your BMI, BMI prime and your percentile according to BMI and age:

  1. Enter your weight in your preferred mass units,
  2. Enter your height in your desired length units,
  3. At this point, you'll get your calculated BMI as well as your BMI prime together with your WHO-category according to these numbers,
  4. Input your age in years if you want to know your percentile,
  5. The result will appear showing your percentile compared to the USA population in your age bracket.

Just remember that this is the BMI calculator for men and if you're looking for other population groups you should use the corresponding calculator. Here at Omni, we have BMI calculators for males, females, children, and teenagers available; with links placed in the second section of this calculator.

How to modify BMI and keep a healthy body weight

You should now know what is your BMI, but you might be wondering what can you do if it's not within the values of healthy BMI for men. The answer can be very complicated depending on your individual situation, but we will try to give you some advice and point to certain places where you can get the necessary information.

The first and most important thing you got to ask yourself is whether or not you are healthy, regardless of your weight. For example, if you smoke several packs of cigarettes a day, your first priority should be to quit smoking, since that is very likely the most significant risk factor you are dealing with. If you are not convinced, you can check our calculator on what percentage of smokers get lung cancer, which shows the effects on your health if you quit smoking right now.

Assuming you are not a smoker, or you're not addressing that issue, we can move to the next step: exercise. Exercising is one of the healthiest things you can do since it improves your mental health as well as improve your ECG heart rate and your heart health in general.

You can use our max heart rate calculator or our target heart rate calculator to check on your heart's health; and feel free to get the most out of your training by using our heart rate zone calculator to calculate and use the different training heart rate zones.

As far as exercises go, running and walking are probably the easiest to do. If you're interested we recommend that you visit our running pace calculator as well as our running calorie calculator. Other exercises that give great results are weightlifting and cycling.

Provided you have followed the two pieces of advice above, you are probably in good shape already. However, you might be still struggling with your weight, and hence BMI, so it won't hurt to set up the record straight and give you some tip on nutrition and calories, specifically on calories burned and calorie deficit.

If you're interested in changing your BMI, as a way of measuring your progress, we have some calculators that will help you lose weight or at least keep a healthy balance. For starters, it is important that you know your BMR or resting calorie consumption, so that you can plan better your meal calories.

The key part of a good diet is to keep a balance of nutrients while you maintain a energy deficit, often referred to as calorie deficit. For this our macro calculator is very useful since it allows to plan your carbohydrate intake, protein intake and fat intake to achieve your goals.

Lastly, you can always try traveling to other planets. Since your weight on other planets changes with respect to your weight on Earth, you might be able to find the right one to fix you BMI. We have heard of people that find this idea easier to do that exercising, but we would never recommend it, unless planetary travel includes a strict diet and training routine.

Álvaro Díez and Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
BMI Prime
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