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BMI Criteria for Bariatric Surgery

What is BMI?

If you are considering bariatric surgery, you should first understand what determines a healthy weight. It's more than just a number on your scale.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is:

  • A number calculated from a person's weight and height.
  • A fairly reliable indicator of whether you’re at an appropriate weight for your height by estimating your body fat.
  • An inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to obesity-related health problems.

To calculate your BMI for bariatric surgery, your height and weight are entered into a mathematical equation and the resulting number reveals whether you’re underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. If your BMI is 25 or above — and you are not an athlete or you don’t have a muscular build — you could be at risk for numerous health conditions, and might be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Calculate Your BMI

Use the BMI Calculator in our Health Library to help assess your risk for health conditions.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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