What Is BMI?
If you are concerned about your health and weight, you have surely heard of or read about BMI. BMI is short for Body Mass Index, a calculation based on your height and weight used to indicate body “fatness” or obesity.
BMI is relatively easy to determine (especially when using our calculator), provides a standardized result, and is simple to use and understand. The calculation works best for those over 18 years of age and is the same for men and women. All you need is your height in feet and inches and your weight in pounds.
What Is BMI Used For?
Your calculated BMI is often used to screen for body mass/weight categories that suggest health problems like obesity. Keep in mind that your BMI is not a measure of your body fatness (body fat percentage) or your health or fitness. Physicians often use BMI to indicate whether a patient is overweight, underweight, or healthy body weight. Both the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) use the results of the BMI index to determine risks for malnutrition or obesity.
Understanding Your BMI
Once you calculate your BMI, determine which category you are in:
- Underweight: Your BMI is below 18.5, which may indicate malnourishment or a need to increase your calorie intake.
- Normal weight: Your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, which is considered a healthy weight ratio.
- Overweight: Your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, which is considered overweight, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Obese: Your BMI is above 30, suggesting you may be at an increased risk for diseases and health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure (Hypertension), Type 2 diabetes, and breathing problems.
How The BMI Calculator Works
If you are a math whiz with a calculator, you can use this formula to calculate your BMI:
Convert your weight to pounds and inches and use this formula: [weight / (height x height)] x 703. If you are NOT a math wiz or like simple, quick results, use our calculator!
How Calculating Your BMI Can Help You Reach Your Health And Fitness Goals
Knowing your BMI and the corresponding category you fall into, such as underweight, normal weight, overweight, has clinical significance and is a useful measure of body weight and mass. The higher your number, the higher body fat, and risks for chronic health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Type 2 diabetes. **
- Arthritis and sleep apnea.
** Aside from genetics and family history, obesity (as indicated by your BMI) is the most influential factor in determining your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, regardless of your age.
Those who fall into the obese category are 80% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, especially those who accumulate excess body fat around their waist.
Why is it essential to calculate your BMI for your health?
The BMI is used to determine if you are underweight, average weight, overweight, or obese. Your health is paradise if you are not in the usual weight range. Assume you have a BMI of 17.5. You are underweight if this is the case. Being underweight makes you more susceptible to illnesses since it indicates a weakened immune system. Later in adulthood, you may develop osteoporosis or become anemic. However, if you are overweight, obese, or extremely fat, your risks of getting different illnesses rise as your BMI rises. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, stroke, and other illnesses have become increasingly common.
What is the average BMI for adults and children?
BMI is measured in children similarly to adults, but the healthy and unhealthy limits are established differently. To establish healthy and at-risk thresholds in youngsters, we don’t have any set numbers. The BMI readings of children are compared to those of other children their age and sex, and a percentile is determined. Children are deemed underweight if their BMI falls below the 5th percentile. Obesity is defined as a BMI number more than the 95th percentile. A score between the 85th and 95th percentile is considered overweight, whereas a value between the 5th and 85th is average.
When should you visit a doctor?
If your BMI is outside of the usual range, you should be checked every six months to a year at the most. The more your BMI deviates from the normal range, 18.5 to 25, the greater your risk. You should visit a doctor right away if you are extremely underweight or even on the verge of being obese. Because of the limited scope of a BMI score, it’s impossible to determine the particular state of your health for the remainder of the measurements. They are impersonal and should never be used to substitute medical advice.
Advantages of using BMI Calculator
Measurements that are accurate throughout a group
The BMI works effectively for what it was designed to do: assess obesity rates in a population. Looking at variations in BMI level allows researchers to obtain a fair sense of how rates of overweight and obesity vary over time or across groups since it’s a generic measure of obesity that will work for most individuals. Because it’s a straightforward method to assess obesity in a community, it makes it easier for health researchers to collect data to study the obesity pandemic or, for example, look at how dietary habits influence obesity risk in big groups of individuals.
Doctors benefit from knowing your BMI
A healthy BMI may reduce a patient’s risk of acquiring chronic diseases like heart disease, anorexia, or diabetes. As a result, it is widely utilized as a diagnostic tool. Furthermore, since the safety of certain operations is frequently dependent on a person’s BMI is within a healthy range, surgeons will use it to evaluate patients for treatment.
BMI has a specific goal
The BMI isn’t the most precise measurement available. It doesn’t include muscle mass, for example, or any other variables that may lead to someone having an abnormal weight. It is, however, objective. You may deceive yourself by looking healthy in the mirror. You may ask friends and family members whether you are overweight or underweight. They may claim that everything is OK due to a lack of knowledge and a desire to protect their emotions. Your BMI isn’t going to lie to you. It will inform you if you are at a healthy weight, which should serve as a good reminder to prioritize your health and fitness.
BMI should only be used as one measurement in assessing someone’s health since it isn’t very accurate. A more comprehensive, holistic strategy will be required.