What is the body mass index (BMI)?
Body mass index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the body’s height in meters. It indicates whether the weight is appropriate for the person’s height. Another way to calculate BMI is to multiply the person’s weight in pounds by 703 and divide it by the height (in inches) squared.
The various categories of BMI include the following
- BMI values of less than 18.5 kg/m2 are considered underweight.
- BMI values between 18.5 kg/m2 to 24.9 kg/m2 are healthy.
- BMI values between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2 are overweight.
- BMI values greater than 40 kg/m2 are considered obese.
Example: If a person weighs 68 kg and is 165 cm (1.65 m) tall, BMI is calculated as 68 ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98 kg/m2, which means that the person has a BMI of 24.98 and is considered to bea healthy weight.
How is BMI used?
Body mass index (BMI) is a screening tool. It does not reflect body fat or the health status of an individual. Moreover, the physician will also assess the individual’s diet, physical activity and family history to determine if BMI is a health risk.
What are the BMI trends for adults in the United States?
Since the 1970s, the prevalence of adult body mass index (BMI) above 30 kg/m2 has been increasing. Although recently, there is a decline in this trend except for older women Women over the age of 60 years old have continued to remain obese all these years.
Are there any issues with using BMI?
Healthcare professionals often use body mass index (BMI) as a screening tool to identify weight problems. Although it gives a good estimation of body fat for most of the individuals, it may be erroneous to use in the case of bodybuilders and other muscular people who have high muscle mass. High bone density may also result in high BMI. BMI may underestimate body fat in people who have lost muscle mass, especially in the older population. At the same BMI, body fatness may differ among the following populations:
- Men and women
- Blacks and whites
- Older people and younger adults
- Athletes and non-athletes
What is the ideal weight?
The ideal weight has been mentioned in the below table
|Height||Minimal Risk (BMI under 25)||Moderate Risk (BMI 25-29.9) Overweight||High Risk (BMI 30 and above) Obese|
|4'10''||118 lbs or less||119-142 lbs.||143 lbs. or more|
|4'11''||123 or less||124-147||148 or more|
|5'0''||127 or less||128-152||153 or more|
|5'1''||131 or less||132-157||158 or more|
|5'2''||135 or less||136-163||164 or more|
|5'3''||140 or less||141-168||169 or more|
|5'4''||144 or less||145-173||174 or more|
|5'5''||149 or less||150-179||180 or more|
|5'6''||154 or less||155-185||186 or more|
|5'7''||158 or less||159-190||191 or more|
|5'8''||163 or less||169-202||197 or more|
|5'9''||168 or less||169-202||203 or more|
|5'10''||173 or less||174-208||209 or more|
|5'11''||178 or less||179-214||215 or more|
|6'0''||183 or less||184-220||221 or more|
|6'1''||188 or less||189-226||227 or more|
|6'2''||193 or less||194-232||233 or more|
|6'3''||199 or less||200-239||240 or more|
|6'4''||204 or less||205-245||246 or more|
What are the advantages of maintaining a healthy weight?
By maintaining a healthy weight, an individual enjoys the following advantages
- Reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers
- Better sleep quality
- Less muscle and joint pain
- Reduced risk of high blood pressure and diabetes
- Better regulation of bodily fluids
- Reduced burden on the heart and circulatory system
- Increased energy and ability to complete the desired activities
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Reduced risk of gallbladder disease
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