The World Health Organization uses the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of what is a healthy weight. It is a simple calculation the divides weight by height (click here to use the BMI calculator). The advantages of using BMI are its simplicity and reproducibility. Most research uses BMI to stratify patients. The disadvantages are that it does not take into account muscle mass (a body builder will have a high BMI), distribution of weight (healthier to have less abdominal fat), and ethnic differences.
A BMI table oversimplifies the diagnosis of overweight or obesity. Our physicians utilize far more medical data when evaluating our patients.