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The easiest way to determine if you are underweight according to the typical standards used today is to calculate your body mass index. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), BMI corresponds to body fat so women tend to have higher BMI's than men and elderly people often have more fat than young people who are more active. There are different scales for adolescents and children, so do not use the following calculation to determine the BMI for your teenager or small child. To calculate your body mass, you divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and then multiply the result by 703. The weight status according to BMI is as follows: Below 18.5 = Underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 = Normal, 25.0 to 29.9 = Overweight, 30.0 and Above = Obese.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|