BMI for Bariatric Surgery in Mexico

Medically Reviewed by Katelyn J. Mock, US-Registered Dietician (R.D.)

BMI is the most accepted indicator of body size. It is easy to calculate and gives you a fair idea about the weight you could maintain for good health. If you aren’t able to maintain your BMI, you could choose to have bariatric surgery in Mexico. The suitable BMI for bariatric surgery starts at 40.

You can calculate your BMI with our tool at the end of this page.

What is BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. BMI parameters change with age and are different for children, adolescents, adults, males, females and seniors. It is an indicator of the  health risk from morbid obesity-related illness or comorbidities like

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart-related issues.
Studies have shown that bariatric surgery helps lose weight and reduces comorbidities.[1]“Biological effects of bariatric surgery on obesity-related comorbidities”, Sabrena F. Noria, MD, PhD and Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, Feb,2013 PMCID: PMC3569476
PMID: 23351555 doi: 10.1503/cjs.036111
View in Article

Body Mass Index Chart

This chart is used for adults above the age of 20.

BMI Weight
>18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Healthy
25 – 30 Overweight
30< Obese

Why BMI for Bariatric Surgery?

BMI has a simple and easy formula that is accessible by everyone.

So even though BMI may not be very accurate, it is still the most widely accepted.

Doctors in Mexico use BMI too because it is fairly accurate with body weight, and is easily understood by patients too. Another reason is that it is one of the oldest methods to determine obesity.

Apart from BMI, our doctors also look at the patient medical records before qualifying them for surgery.

Body Mass Index Formula

BMI is calculated by body mass or weight (kg) divided by the square of the body height (m). So the unit of your BMI is kg/m2.

Assessment of Risk of High BMI

Are you at risk of weight-related health problems? Your genes, BMI and waist circumference, together, are reliable parameters to make an approximate estimation.

For example, if you have inherited genes that increase the risk of heart diseases, you should keep a lower BMI.

Also accumulated fat on your waist puts you at risk of heart problems. So some people with the same BMI may be more susceptible to cardiac diseases.

However, the concept of BMI has some limitations.

Limitations of BMI

Limitations of BMI for bariatric surgery

BMI is calculated only using your weight and height. It doesn’t use the body fat percentage, genetics, fat distribution, BMI changes, age and gender in its calculations. These are major factors that determine the health index.

1. Body Fat Percentage

Excess body fat is bad for you and BMI doesn’t look at the content of fat in the body.

BMI overestimates body fat in muscular people and underestimates it in elderly people. Athletes have more muscle mass and they may weigh the same as someone overweight in a desk job.

2. Genetics

BMI is only a number calculating your body height to weight ratio. You may be genetically susceptible to hereditary diseases which makes it more important for you to maintain a lower BMI.

3. Fat Distribution

Accumulated fat in certain parts of the body could be more harmful than an even distribution of fat. Extra inches on the waist are a clear indicator of a person’s propensity to develop diseases of the kidneys, liver and heart. Fat on the limbs is less harmful. BMI looks at the overall weight.

Measuring the total fat in the body can only be done with the help of very sophisticated tools and experts.

4. BMI Changes

The muscle mass of the body reaches its peak by 25-30 years, so the BMI curve sees an upward trend.

In women, the BMI increases in middle age because of hormonal changes. These changes increase body fat.

As people approach senior ages. The BMI starts to fall again as they lose muscle and bone densities.

BMI changes all the time yet the scale is the same.

5. Age

Younger people have more muscle in their bodies than older people. So both these people’s BMI may be the same but the older person is more prone to get unhealthy.

Senior people typically start accumulating more fat in older ages and losing bone and muscle density. So their BMI may remain constant but they are not so healthy anymore.

6. Gender

Males and females have different body structures, but the BMI scale is the same for both.

BMI is higher in men because of the higher muscle mass and bone density.

People are more aware of these limitations and also use their own judgement to measure their healths.

Alternatives to BMI for Bariatric Surgery

Since BMI is not always accurate, there are other methods to know your health index.

RFM (Relative Fat Mass Index)

Relative Fat Mass Index or RFM is waist to height ratio. In this case, you just need a tape measure. You just have to measure your waist and height.

The formula to calculate this is 64 − (20 × height/waist circumference) + (12 × sex); sex= 0 for men and 1 for women.

This is slightly more accurate than BMI if you want to know the probability of comorbidities.[2]“Relative fat mass (RFM) as a new estimator of whole-body fat percentage ─ A cross-sectional study in American adult individuals.” Woolcott, O.O., Bergman, R.N. Sci Rep 8, 10980 (2018) doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29362-1View in Article

RFM measures the waist where fat deposits are the most harmful, so this method is more accurate but complex.

BAI (Body Adiposity Index)

BAI does not use your weight. It calculates your body fat percentage by multiplying your hip circumference with your height. The fat on the waist and the hip is most harmful to kidneys, liver and the heart.

Weighing scales are not always available. You just need a tape measure to calculate BAI. Measuring the fat rather than the weight is more accurate than BMI which measures the entire weight.

BMI for Bariatric Surgery in Mexico



Doctors use BMI for bariatric surgery. They determine whether someone qualifies for Weight Loss surgery. Patients qualify for Bariatric Surgery in Mexico based on a few conditions

  • BMI of over 40.
  • Failure to lose weight through diet and exercise
  • Comorbidities like diabetes and high blood pressure

In exceptional cases, our doctors may approve a BMI of over 35 if there are comorbidities on the rise.

Our doctors in different states may have different criteria for approving your bariatric surgery.

Patients with very high BMI (50 and above) could incur additional costs on bariatric surgery in Mexico.

A higher BMI requires the hospital to use more resources like anesthesia and assistants. There is also more risk involved. Sometimes special beds may be needed too.

For Gastric Balloon, our doctors approve a BMI of 27 and up.

Mexico Bariatric Bariatric Services offers Gastric Bypass, Mini Gastric Bypass, Gastric Plication, Gastric Sleeve, Lap Band and Gastric Balloon in Mexico. Here is a small overview of the most popular surgeries.

BMI for Gastric Bypass in Mexico

gastric Bypass in Mexico

Gastric Bypass in Mexico helps people lose 70-80% of their excess weight. After the surgery, food bypasses a major portion of the stomach and a part of the small intestine. This reduces hunger pains and allows for less food intake.

BMI for Gastric Bypass of 35 – 40 may be approved for surgery because of comorbidities.

BMI for Gastric Sleeve in Mexico

Gastric Sleeve in Mexico

Gastric Sleeve in Mexico removes 80% of the stomach because of which patients feel less hungry and eat less. People lose 60-70% of excess weight.

BMI for Gastric Sleeve of 30 and above may be approved if there are comorbidities.


1. “Biological effects of bariatric surgery on obesity-related comorbidities“, Sabrena F. Noria, MD, PhD and Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, Feb, 2013 PMCID: PMC3569476 PMID: 23351555 doi: 10.1503/cjs.036111
2. “Relative fat mass (RFM) as a new estimator of whole-body fat percentage ─ A cross-sectional study in American adult individuals.” Woolcott, O.O., Bergman, R.N. Sci Rep 8, 10980 (2018) doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29362-1
3. Smart Calculator

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *