Home Health & Beauty Where are you on the UK fat scale?

Where are you on the UK fat scale?

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The majority of adults in the UK are overweight or obese according to national health surveys, yet research suggests we are a country in denial about our weight.

Use this calculator to find out your own body mass index (BMI) and see how you compare with the rest of the nation. You will also get tips from health experts and useful links to information on how to improve your health.

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Your BMI

Your BMI is [bmi_result] which is in the [bmi_category] category.

Healthy Overweight Obese Very obese Underweight 30 40 18.5 25
Healthy Overweight Obese Very obese Under- weight 30 40 18.5 25

BMI is a standard way of measuring if people are a healthy weight for their height. For most adults 18.5 to 24.9 is the healthy range.

Your age group

Your BMI is [comparative] the average of [bmi_score] for a [gender_singular] in your age group ([user_age_group]) in [user_country].

About [percent]% of [gender_plural] in your age group in [user_country] are overweight, obese or very obese.

0%

Underweight

0%

Healthy

0%

Overweight

0%

Obese

0%

Very obese

Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Your part of the UK

In all parts of the UK, the majority of the adult population is overweight, obese or very obese, according to the latest national surveys.

In [region], the figure is about [percentage]% of [gender_plural].

North East

50%

West Mids

50%

Scotland

50%

East Mids

50%

Yorks & Humb

50%

N. Ireland

50%

North West

50%

South East

50%

South West

50%

East

50%

Wales

50%

London

50%

50%

Wales BMI data is gatherered through self measurement so may be an underestimate

What does this mean for you?

The information you've given us indicates you could be underweight.

There can be health risks associated with a low BMI such as anaemia, osteoporosis, a weakened immune system and fertility problems.

This is not a medical diagnostic tool so don't panic if this isn't the result you were expecting to see.

If you're concerned about your weight, or your health in general, speak to a healthcare professional such as your GP.

You're in the healthy range which is great. Research shows that having a healthy BMI can reduce your risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

But not all people with a BMI in this range have a lower risk. Other factors such as smoking, high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure will increase your risk.

If you're of Asian descent you have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes at a lower BMI and waist circumference. A healthy BMI for you would be 18.5-23.

We're more likely to gain weight as we get older so to stay a healthy weight you may need to make small changes to your diet or your activity levels as you age.

The information you've given us indicates you are overweight.

Research shows that a BMI above the healthy range can increase your risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

A healthy BMI for a person of your height would be 18.5-24.9. If you're of Asian descent you have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes at a lower BMI and waist circumference. A healthy BMI for you would be 18.5-23.

Losing even a small amount of weight, if sustained, can have a big impact. For most people changing your diet is by far the best way to lose weight. Activity can help you maintain your target weight, and can have other health benefits, but increasing activity alone is not nearly as effective as diet at helping you shed the pounds.

Even small changes like reducing portion sizes or choosing lower calorie snacks and drinks can help you lose weight or stop putting it on.

The information you've given us indicates you're in the obese category.

Research shows that having a BMI in this range will significantly increase your risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

A healthy BMI for a person of your height would be 18.5-24.9. If you're of Asian descent you have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes at a lower BMI and waist circumference. A healthy BMI for you would be 18.5-23.

Losing even a small amount of weight, if sustained, can have a big impact. For most people changing your diet is by far the best way to lose weight. Activity can help you maintain your target weight, and can have other health benefits, but increasing activity alone is not nearly as effective as diet at helping you shed the pounds.

There's lots of support available to help you make changes, either to lose weight or to stop putting on weight.

The information you've given us indicates you're in the very obese category.

Research shows that having a BMI in this range will significantly increase your risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

A healthy BMI for a person of your height would be 18.5-24.9. If you're of Asian descent you have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes at a lower BMI and waist circumference. A healthy BMI for you would be 18.5-23.

Losing even a small amount of weight, if sustained, can have a big impact. For most people changing your diet is by far the best way to lose weight. Activity can help you maintain your target weight, and can have other health benefits, but increasing activity alone is not nearly as effective as diet at helping you shed the pounds.

If you are concerned, or would like to find out more, speak to your doctor or GP. If you are ready to make lifestyle changes, there is lots of support available.

Your waist size

BMI is not the only way of measuring whether you are a healthy weight.

Doctors say that carrying too much fat around your belly can increase your risk of health problems. Excess fat in this area can stress internal organs – even if your BMI is in the healthy range.

Your waist size is [size]

For [gender_plural], the NHS says a waist size of:

80cm (31.5 inches) or more

means an increased risk of health problems

88cm (34 inches) or more

means a very high risk of health problems

94cm (37 inches) or more

means an increased risk of health problems

102cm (40 inches) or more

means a very high risk of health problems

People from non-white ethnic groups may be at risk at a lower waist size

How to check your waist with just a piece of string

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If you can’t see the calculator tap or click here.

How the calculator works

Comparative data for this calculator comes from the most recent national health surveys from the four constituent nations of the UK (see data sources below).

Your BMI

We calculate BMI using the standard formula of a person’s mass in kg divided by the square of their height in metres (kg/m2) and display it to one decimal place.

Where a user’s data is entered in imperial units, we first convert to metric and then carry out the BMI calculation.

The BMI result is assigned to a standard category:

  • Less than 18.5 – underweight
  • 18.5 to 24.9 – healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9 – overweight
  • 30 to 39.9 – obese
  • 40 and over – very obese (also known as morbidly obese)

Experts say that for people of an Asian descent, 18.5 to 23 is a healthy BMI. We highlight this fact in a later section.

BMI does not take into account body composition so some people who are lean and carry a lot of muscle may have a BMI which does not necessarily reflect their health status.

However, Prof Naveed Sattar from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow says this is likely to apply to far less than 1% of individuals.

The waist circumference measurement is an additional check which can be used in conjunction with BMI.

Your age group

This section compares the user’s BMI result with the mean average BMI for their sex and age group in their nation (as defined by the postcode entered in the form).

The Northern Ireland health survey does not publish average BMI data so this comparison is excluded when an NI postcode is entered.

Results for all nations are shown in 10-year age bands apart from the lower end (16-24) and upper end (85+ in England, 75+ in all other nations)

The silhouette body shapes represent the range of BMI categories. We worked with original images developed by Prof Martin Tovee of the University of Lincoln.

England data is broken down into five categories from “underweight” to “very obese”.

Scotland and Wales have four categories, with those who are “very obese” included in the “obese” category.

Northern Ireland has three categories: “healthy or underweight”, “overweight” and “obese or very obese”.

In all cases, the breakdown reflects the data available.

Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

Your part of the UK

This part of the results shows the percentage of adults who are overweight or obese in the area of the UK that matches the user’s postcode.

The figures are divided into male or female, to match the user’s details.

The Welsh figure may be an underestimate, as the survey asks for self-reported measurements.

What does this mean for you?

Information in this section was written in conjunction with Prof Naveed Sattar from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow, and experts at Public Health England.

Your waist size

Information in this section was also written in conjunction with the medical experts. The details about how waist size influences risk of developing certain diseases comes from NHS England.

Data sources

We used data from the most recent national health surveys for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

All the surveys apart from Wales measure their respondents’ height and weight in order to calculate BMI.

The Welsh survey asks for self-reported measurements which may lead to an underestimate of BMI, according to the survey’s statisticians.

England

Health Survey for England data was taken from the spreadsheet Health Survey for England, 2016: Adult overweight and obesity – tables on this page.

Wales

National Survey for Wales data for overweight / obesity was taken from the spreadsheet Additional tables – Population health: health-related lifestyle (adults), 2016/17 on this page.

We also received on request age-group breakdowns of the other BMI categories.

Scotland

Scottish Health Survey data was taken from the spreadsheet Part 13 BMI on this page.

Northern Ireland

Health Survey NI data was taken from the spreadsheet Health Survey NI Trend Tables on this page.

Calculator produced by Christine Jeavans, Scott Jarvis, Sumi Senthinathan, Anya Saunders, Joe Reed, Rachel Baldwin and Charlie Campbell.

With thanks to Prof Naveed Sattar, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow and Prof Martin Tovee, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, and Public Health England

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk

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