The body mass index (BMI) can define a person's weight status and can help screen for conditions like obesity or overweight, which in turn can lead to serious health complications. This figure is calculated using height and weight. Because the calculation requires only these two factors, it is inexpensive and easy to use. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but it does correspond fairly closely to direct measures of body fat in most people.
(Click BMI for a detailed definition of what this figure represents and how the result is interpreted. This article also discusses some of the limitations of this assessment method and other factors that determine a person's weight.)