Although BMI is the most widely used measure of obesity, debate still exists on how accurately BMI defines obesity. In this study, adiposity status defined by BMI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was compared in a large population to evaluate the accuracy of BMI. A total of 1,691 adult volunteers from Newfoundland and Labrador participated in the study. BMI and body fat percentage (%BF) were measured for all subjects following a 12-h fasting period. Subjects were categorized as underweight (UW), normal weight (NW), overweight (OW), or obese (OB) based on BMI and %BF criteria. Differences between the two methods were compared within gender and by age-groups. According to BMI criteria, 1.2% of women were classified as UW, 44.2% as NW, 34.2% as OW, and 20.3% as OB. When women were classified according to %BF criteria, 2.2% were UW, 29.6% were NW, 30.9% were OW, and 37.1% were OB. The overall discrepancy between the two methods for women was substantial at 34.7% (14.6% for NW and 16.8% for OB, P < 0.001). In men, the overall discrepancy was 35.2% between BMI and DXA (17.6% for OW and 13.5% for OB, P < 0.001). Misclassification by BMI was dependent on age, gender, and adiposity status. In conclusion, BMI misclassified adiposity status in approximately one-third of women and men compared with DXA. Caution should be taken when BMI is used in clinical and scientific research as well as clinical practice.