A BMI of 27 is comfortably in the overweight category for body mass index scores. But what does this mean for your health and well-being?
While most people who register a 27 BMI score have too much body fat (even though a 27 BMI is less than the average BMI), it’s also possible to be lean while having a body mass index of 27.
This is because BMI, at least when it’s relatively normal, doesn’t tell you anything about your body composition. Therefore, you can’t use a BMI score to assess your health.
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- What does a BMI of 26 look like?
- What does a BMI of 28 look like?
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Is a BMI of 27 bad for a female?
Is a BMI of 27 bad for a female? A BMI of 27 is considered overweight for females and is an indication that a woman is carrying a bit of excess body fat.
A 27 BMI score is two BMI points into the overweight category and yet, is still around three BMI points lower than average for an adult female.
Many women naturally store a lot of fat around their hips and thighs, which is preferable to storing fat centrally around your waist.
So, if a woman with a BMI of 27 doesn’t have a large waist, then it’s possible that she’ll be healthy with a 27 body mass index. Indeed, some research actually suggests that a higher BMI is beneficial for older adults compared to a normal BMI. 
Is a 27 BMI bad for a male?
Is a 27 BMI bad for a male? A BMI of 27 is bad for a male if the man is carrying excess body fat, particularly around his waist.
This is because abdominal obesity is very bad for your health since it can cause visceral fat to accumulate around your organs, such as your intestines and liver.
On the other hand, some athletes and experienced weight lifters have a BMI of 27 while having minimal body fat. So while these athletic men might be considered overweight per the body mass index tool, they’re certainly not overfat.
Most people with a 27 BMI score lie somewhere in the middle; they have some muscle mass and perhaps a bit too much body fat.
In this case, losing body fat is the way to go, as is resistance training, which can result in a more favorable body composition.
What does a person with a BMI of 27 look like?
While we can say that a person with a BMI of 27 is slimmer than average because their BMI is lower than average, we can’t say for certain what a 27 BMI looks like. Why?
Because the body mass index is a screening tool that can’t measure body composition. Rather, BMI is used to identify people who, based on their weight in relation to their height, might be at risk for certain diseases.
Still, most individuals who have a BMI of 27 probably have too much body fat. While it’s definitely possible for lean and muscular people to register a 27 BMI reading, most people aren’t lean and muscular; they’re overweight with excess body fat.
Common BMI 27 results and scores
While your BMI might well be bang on 27, it’s likely that you’ll get a precise output from your BMI calculator when you input your height and weight.
If you’ve got a BMI of 27.1, then you’re roughly two BMI points into the overweight category. What this means for your health depends on how much body fat and muscle mass you’re carrying.
A BMI of 27.2 is considered overweight for men and women and is often an indication that a person is carrying a bit too much body fat. Of course, you can also have a 27.2 BMI while being lean and muscular.
If you have a 27.3 BMI, then you’re classed as being overweight, although a BMI of 27.3 is still on the lower end of the overweight classification. But remember, BMI doesn’t measure the fat and muscle content of your body. 
A 27.4 BMI is an indicator that an individual is too big for their height. This might not be problematic if the individual is lean, but it could certainly be a problem (especially if they gain more weight) if the person has too much body fat.
A BMI of 27.5 marks the halfway point between the normal and obese categories. In other words, a 27.5 BMI is right in the middle of the overweight body mass index category.
If you’ve got a 27.6 BMI, then you might benefit from slimming down. Whether or not this is the case depends on your body fat and, more specifically, where you’re storing that fat (around your waist is especially bad).
Those with a BMI of 27.7 are considered overweight and are often encouraged to lose weight so that they’re not at risk for various health problems.
If you have a 27.8 BMI, then you’re comfortably in the overweight BMI classification for males and females. If you have too much body fat and minimal muscle mass, then you should seek to alter your body composition by losing fat and gaining muscle via strength training.
While it’s possible to be lean with a 27.9 BMI, most people who have a BMI of 27.9 are carrying too much body fat and would be able to improve their health by losing fat.
The verdict: Is a body mass index of 27 considered overweight for men and women?
Ultimately, a BMI of 27 is considered overweight for men and women. Whether or not this is a bad thing boils down to your ratio of muscle mass to fat tissue.
If you’re a hard-training athlete or simply someone who likes to be fit and strong, then you might be able to achieve good health while having a BMI 27 score.
On the other hand, if you lack muscle mass and clearly have too much body fat, then you’ll likely benefit from losing weight, which probably means lowering your 27 BMI as well.
- Javed, A. A., Aljied, R., Allison, D. J., Anderson, L. N., Ma, J., & Raina, P. (2020). Body mass index and all-cause mortality in older adults: A scoping review of observational studies. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 21(8), e13035. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13035
- Heymsfield, S. B., & Cefalu, W. T. (2013). Does body mass index adequately convey a patient’s mortality risk?. JAMA, 309(1), 87–88. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2012.185445