What BMI do you need for weight loss medication?

Does your body mass index (BMI) allow you to qualify for weight loss medication? Your BMI will determine if you are a suitable candidate for weight loss medication. It is the first thing that is taken into consideration.

You must meet a certain criteria with your BMI for weight loss medication to be prescribed to you. There is a growing popularity in weight loss medication with treatments such as Wegovy and Mounjaro available, however, it is important to know that they are not suitable for everyone.

Weight loss medications must be prescribed to you but they are only available if you have obesity. If you are keen to know what BMI qualifies for weight loss medication, we will unpack everything you need to know about BMI and weight loss treatment in this guide.

C4U - BMI Index Chart

What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement taken using your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. When your BMI is calculated it also takes into consideration your ethnicity when providing you with results. A higher BMI increases your chance of developing long term conditions including type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

[1]For most adults, an ideal BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. It is divided into the following categories:

  • Below 18.5: underweight
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9: healthy weight
  • Between 25 and 29.9: overweight
  • Over 30: obese

Healthcare professionals will also take other factors into consideration when assessing if you are a healthy weight.

BMI boundaries for weight loss medications

Are all weight management treatments limited to those with a BMI of 30 and above?

Weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Mounjaro are usually prescribed for anyone who fits the following criteria:

  • Obesity with a BMI of 30 or above
  • Overweight with a BMI of 27 or above and a weight-related health condition such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure

Why is there a recommended BMI for weight loss drugs

There is a recommended BMI for weight loss drugs as research has shown that those who meet the criteria that are overweight and obese are able to lose weight long term with medication.[2]

Measuring your BMI

Your BMI is measured with your weight divided by your height in metres squared. You can also measure your BMI with a BMI calculator here.

What to do if your BMI isn’t high enough for weight loss medication

If you don’t meet the criteria for weight loss medication then there are other things you can do to lose weight.

The food you eat plays a huge role in your weight. Try a reduced calorie diet and eat healthier foods including protein and fruit and veg. A healthy diet and increased physical exercise can help you to lose weight. It is also a lifestyle change and helps with maintaining a healthy weight.

Other factors prescribers consider when choosing your treatment

Who can take weight loss injections? Prescribers only prescribe a weight loss medication when you have tried other weight loss methods including a low calorie diet and exercise without success.

A prescriber will also take other health problems into consideration when they are prescribing weight loss medications.

They will look at other weight related conditions such as:

Although weight loss medications are prescribed to help assist with weight loss, you must have also tried reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity levels before you consider this option.

If you believe that you fit the criteria then you should speak to your healthcare provider about being prescribed a weight loss medication to help you lose weight. However, these treatments must be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

It can be difficult staying motivated on your weight loss journey but with the right mindset it will help you to achieve the best results.

Olivia Malone - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 12 June 2024
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