Healthy Living

Man adjusting scales to weigh himself.

In conjunction with members of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee (SciMAC), the Amputee Coalition has created the tool on this page to help individuals with limb loss assess their weight status by calculating their body mass index. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women and is commonly used to assess a person's weight status. It is NOT a diagnostic tool. However, if your BMI indicates that you may be overweight or obese, you should talk to your doctor about what you can do to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Being overweight or obese is linked to an increase in many diseases and health conditions. You can limit your risk of developing these diseases and health conditions by being more physically active and eating a healthy diet. The Amputee Coalition has compiled resources to help amputees increase their physical activity levels and eat a healthy diet. Additional information may be available by contacting our Information Specialists or talking with your healthcare provider.

Instructions for Using the BMI Calculator Tool

  • Enter your height and weight using standard or metric measures.
  • Weight must be taken without use of prosthesis, walker or wheelchair.
  • When determining height, if you are a bilateral lower-limb amputee, use pre-amputation height.
  • Select your level of amputation.
  • Click the "Calculate" button and your BMI will be generated.

Limitations

Although BMI can be used to assess the weight status for most men and women, it does have some limits. These include, but are not limited to:

  • May overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build
  • May underestimate body fat in seniors and others who have lost muscle mass

Using BMI to assess the weight status of persons with limb loss has some additional limitations.

  • Appropriate tools to accurately assess weight in individuals with limb loss are not widely available. For example, many primary care offices do not possess a scale capable of weighing a person who uses a wheelchair. Using inappropriate equipment may lead to an inaccurate weight measurement.
  • Methods for assessing weight in individuals with limb loss are inconsistent. We recommend that you enter your body weight without your prosthesis or other assistive device. In order to obtain this measurement, a variety of methods are used which may produce inconsistencies in determining the weight of a person with limb loss.
  • Accuracy of evaluating height in individuals with bilateral lower-limb amputations and congenital limb difference. A person's height is an important part of calculating their BMI. Accurately assessing height may be difficult for individuals with bilateral lower-limb amputation or who have a congenital limb difference.

* This tool has not been validated; it is simply an estimation for amputees.

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

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Jim Myers, Resource & Community Support CoordinatorHave Questions?
888/267-5669
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It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.