Calculate Your BMI

Body mass index, or BMI, is a mathematical measure of a person’s weight scaled according to their height. BMI is commonly used by medical, fitness and health professionals to categorize obesity, overweight and underweight in adults. This is a useful tool to accurately classify weight, but it must be used together with other appropriate measurements because it has some limitations. Nevertheless, you can calculate your BMI without using special knowledge or expensive medical equipment.

The relationship between body fatness and BMI value is quite strong. Nevertheless, this relationship varies by race, age and sex. For instance, even though a man and a woman may have the same BMI, the woman could have significantly more body fat. In addition, older people normally have more fat compared to younger adults. Interestingly, highly trained sports persons may have high BMIs due to increased muscularity instead of increased body fat.

Understanding your BMI

BMI is usually calculated by dividing weight by height squared. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9 signifies an overweight adult, while obese people have a BMI of 30 and above. A normal adult is considered to have a BMI of between 19.5 and 24.9, and those with values lower than 18.5 are underweight.

Even though BMI is calculated in the same manner for both adults and children, the principles used for interpreting the significance of the BMI value for kids are different from those for adults. For teens and children, BMI sex-specific and age-specific percentiles are employed because the amount of fat changes with age and also levels of body fat vary from girls to boys. In contrast, for adults, BMI is not dependent on age or sex.

Importance of BMI

BMI is generally regarded as a good way of finding out whether a person is at a normal, healthy weight for their height. It is also more precise at estimating degree of fatness than just weight alone. Furthermore, since it makes use of ranges rather than absolute numbers, BMI does not propose one absolute perfect body weight. Two men of similar height could have a weight difference of 15 pounds and still get categorized within the same weight range.

Cost Effective

BMI is important since it saves health professionals lots of money. There are other methods of accurately measuring obesity, but the distinguishing factor is that they are quite expensive. Actually, most require highly skilled professionals and some are not readily available all the time. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies these techniques as underwater weighing, bio-electrical impedance and isotope dilution among others. BMI offers a cheap alternative that can be used by anyone, irrespective of their training.

Evaluates Risk

BMI is quite precise at evaluating increased risk of getting serious diseases, according to studies by the CDC. In fact, you are likely to get hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease if you have a BMI value of between 25.0 and 29.9. The risk of contracting these three ailments increases as the BMI value rises above 30.

Prevents childhood obesity

The significance of BMI is emphasized through its precision at measuring body fat in children. You can easily find out your child’s BMI by referring to the CDC website. This will tell you how healthy your child is and you can start to take the necessary measures to remedy the situation. If you find that you have obese children you should consider changing their diet and encouraging them to exercise regularly.

Predicts some diseases

A high BMI suggests increased danger of low levels of good cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Hence, knowing your current BMI is very important before you increase the chances of getting serious cardiovascular ailments. Moreover, a high BMI can also indicate increased danger of colon cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, respiratory problems, strokes, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. By being able to predict diseases, people can make suitable changes to their lifestyles by bringing their BMI values down and thus, stay healthy.

How to get a normal or healthy BMI

In order to achieve a good BMI value, you need to have the right mindset followed by key lifestyle changes that can help you gain or lose weight. Remember that any weight loss or gain should be accomplished healthily to prevent health complications like anorexia or obesity.

First, you must determine your current BMI, to find out if you need to lose or gain weight. Consider other factors as well, such as waist size and physical activity since BMI only acts as a guide. After you have these values measured, you can now set your goal and proceed to plan how to achieve it with a good diet and regular exercise.

It is prudent to ask for assistance in designing a diet and overall fitness program that suits your lifestyle by focusing on areas that directly impact your desired goal. For instance, you could be advised to start eating foods that have low fat content and help you reduce body fat, thus achieving quicker weight loss. In addition, it is also important to eat several low-calorie foods during the day in order to enhance your metabolism and burn fat. A healthy program for weight loss must include the right exercises like swimming, brisk walking or cycling in addition to eating healthy.