If you want a very quick way to tell if you have a healthy weight, you can do it by calculating your body mass index (BMI). It may not be a term that’s on everyone’s lips, but it’s important for your health to understand what it is and to know your number.
What is BMI??
BMI stands for “body mass index,” and is a number calculated using your height and weight to determine where your body mass stands. If the number is above a certain value, you are overweight, while if the number is below a certain value, you are underweight. There is also a “golden area” in between those values where a body mass index number indicates a healthy weight.
Here are the formulas to calculate BMI:
How To Interpret Your Body Mass Index ???
Once you have your body mass index number—how do you interpret it?
First things first: look at the chart below. Find your height in the first column, and then look over at the box whose number corresponds with your weight.
You will see a number and a color in this box. The number is your actual body mass index, and the color of the box indicates whether your BMI fits into an underweight, healthy, or overweight range.
A body mass index value of less than 18.5 is considered underweight. 18.5 to 25 is considered healthy, while anything about 25 is considered overweight. Obesity is a value of 30 or more, with morbid obesity being a value of 40 or higher.
Is This Chat Suitable for All Adults???
This chart is suitable for most people aged 18 and over. But, it may not be suitable if you have a very muscular build.This is because having lots of muscle may put you in the overweight or obese categories, even if you have little body fat.
For example, professional rugby players can fall into the “obese” category despite having very little body fat. However, this will not apply to most people.
What Your body Mass Index Tells You?
Because elevated BMI and a BMI that is too low are both associated with health problems, BMI can give you a general idea of where your health stands with regard to weight-related issues.
Being too thin can put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, muscle loss, and other problems.
On the other end of the spectrum, being obese is associated with an increased risk of many serious and even deadly health conditions. Some of these include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder dysfunction
- Heart disease
What BMI Can’t Tell You??
Although a person with a very high or very low body mass index may be at more obvious risk of developing specific health problems, people in the middle of the spectrum are often left scratching their heads.
Someone with a BMI that indicates being slightly overweight may actually be healthier and have a lower body fat percentage than someone with a lower body mass index number in the “healthy” range. Body mass index cannot tell you your body fat percentage. For example and as previously mentioned, some people, such as heavily muscled athletes, may have a high BMI even though they don’t have a high percentage of body fat.
BMI does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. Nor does it distinguish between lean bodies mass and fat mass. In others, such as elderly people, Body mass index may appear normal even though muscle has been lost with aging.
BMI also cannot tell you whether you have visceral fat, which can increase your risk of getting a heart attack.
BMI also does not take into account where your fat is located. Some people gain weight in their abdominal regions (the so-called “apple” body shape). Others are “pear-shaped,” with excess weight around the hips and buttocks. People with apple shapes are at higher risk for health problems associated with being overweight.
BMI cannot account for race-based or sex-based differences among ideal, healthy body size and weight.
Additionally, someone who was formerly obese but lost a lot of weight quickly may now have a BMI in the “healthy” range, but could still be at risk for developing obesity-related illnesses due to a lifetime of being overweight.
Body Mass Index – the bottom line:
BMI can give you a ballpark idea of how healthy your weight is, but it can’t see into your future. So, while it’s important to know where your body mass stands, it is just one measure that shows a limited amount of information about your health. BMI should be used as a general guide to weight health rather than taken as all-seeing health gospel.