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Why is a BMI of 41 so unhealthy?

Why is a BMI of 41 so unhealthy?

A BMI of 41 is considered obese and, specifically, on the lower end of the class 3 obesity classification, which is sometimes referred to as morbid or severe obesity.

Yet, with the help of a doctor and nutritionists, BMI 41 individuals can lose weight and dramatically improve their health by following a weight loss plan that takes into account their individual needs.


Is a BMI of 41 obese for males and females?

A BMI 41 female measuring her waist

A BMI of 41 is considered obese for both males and females. This is because a body mass index of 41 is 11-12 BMI points higher than average for men and women.

Now, BMI isn’t a great measurement of adiposity. Why?

Because, being a simple screening tool, BMI can’t differentiate between muscle and fat.

This is why we have slim individuals with large waists and high BMI people with lean physiques.

Yet, with a 41 BMI, you’re virtually guaranteed to have a lot of excess body fat, regardless of how big your frame is or how muscular you are.

Still, given that height, bone structure, and muscle mass do vary from person to person, it’s possible for two BMI 41 individuals to look drastically different from one another.

Common BMI 41 results

A man stood on a weighing scale

Here are the individual 41 BMI grades, along with a short description of the obesity severity.

41.1 BMI

A 41.1 BMI, although on the lower end of the class 3 obesity classification, is still far too high for a man or woman to live life in good health.

41.2 BMI

A BMI of 41.2 is well over 10 BMI points higher than average for women and men. This is a big problem when you consider that health experts are warning that the average is already too high.

41.3 BMI

Those with a BMI of 41.3 are likely putting their long-term health at risk by maintaining a dangerously high body weight (for a person of their height).

41.4 BMI

If you have a 41.4 BMI, then your body weight is too high for a person of your stature. Because of this, you’ll need to undergo doctor-supervised weight loss to reduce your body mass.

41.5 BMI

If you’ve got a 41.5 BMI, then your body mass is very high and will need to be reduced via calorie restriction and regular exercise.

41.6 BMI

Those who have a 41.6 BMI are comfortably in the severely obese category and will need to bring their body mass down while they’re still able to move decently well.

41.7 BMI

If you have a 41.7 BMI, then your body mass index score needs to be reduced if you want to regain good health.

41.8 BMI

If you’ve got a BMI of 41.8, then you’ll likely need to lose a considerable amount of fat in order to get your health back on track.

41.9 BMI

A BMI of 41.9 is very high for both men and women. The good news is that watching your weight drop into the lower BMI categories will be very pleasing.

Conclusion: Why is it bad to have a body mass index of 41?

While everyone has their own vision of what a good body shape is, health experts and obesity researchers agree that a BMI of 41 is severely obese and needs to be reduced if a person wants to be healthier, especially over the long term.

Your doctor or nutritionist might recommend a fairly aggressive calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you usually would) so that you can lose weight efficiently.

Depending on what exercise you can manage, you might also be recommended to perform aerobic activity and/or strength training to increase your energy expenditure, which assists with creating a caloric deficit.


  1. Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. (1995). World Health Organization technical report series854, 1–452.
  2. Norgan N. G. (1994). Relative sitting height and the interpretation of the body mass index. Annals of human biology21(1), 79–82.