Body mass index (BMI) definition
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a key indicator that correlates weight with height. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now describes normal weight, overweight and obesity based on BMI instead of the regular height/weight chart.
- Women’s BMI is 27.3 or higher, and men’s BMI is 27.8 or higher.
- Obesity is a BMI of 30 or higher for any sex (about 30 pounds overweight).
- Muscular people may have a higher BMI without health risks.
In other words, Body mass index (BMI) meaning is an estimation of body fat based on height and weight. It does not directly calculate or measure body fat but uses equations for approximate calculations. BMI can help find out whether a person’s weight is unhealthy or healthy.
High Body Mass Index (BMI) means
A high BMI may indicate too much body fat, while a low BMI may indicate too much body fat. The greater a person’s BMI, the higher the chance of developing certain serious diseases (such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes). A very low body mass index can also the root of health problems, including bone loss, decreased immune function, and anemia.
Although BMI can be used to screen children and adults for mass problems, it does have its limitations. BMI may miscalculate the amount of fat in athletes and other muscular people. It may also miscalculate the amount of fat in the elderly and other people who have reduce muscle mass.
Body Mass Index Formula
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s body mass by the square of his height.
How to find range?
To calculate BMI, add the height in feet and the weight in pounds. The calculator also provides a weight status chart to help you understand the results.
The calculation method of BMI is the same for people of all ages. However, the interpretation of BMI is different for adults and children.
BMI for Adults
Adults 20 years and older can understand their BMI according to the following average weight status categories. Men and women of all ages and sizes are the same:
BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 And above Obese
BMI for Children
For people under the age of 20, the interpretation of BMI is different. Although the same formula implies to find out BMI for all ages, the impact on children and adolescents may vary according to age and gender. Body fat varies with age. Young boys and girls are also different. Girls usually get more body fat than boys get and develop earlier.
For children and adolescents, the CDC uses an age-growth chart “Trusted Source” to display BMI as a percentile ranking represents a child’s BMI relative to other kids of the same age and gender. For example, if a kid’s BMI reaches or exceeds the 95th percentile, it is considered obese. This means that compared with 95% of children of the same age and gender type, they have more body fat.
Percentile Weight Status
Below 5th Underweight
5th to 85th Normal or healthy weight
85th to 95th Overweight
95th and above Obese
What is the best BMI for women?
Most women have a BMI of 18.5–24.9. Even though healthcare professionals can use BMI as a screening tool, they should not be used as a method to assess a person’s body fat level or health status. Remember, health is not just about weight or body composition.
BMI identifies Health Issues
People gain weight due to energy difference. The human body wants a certain amount of food energy to function properly. This energy is attained in the form of calories. When you consume the same number of calories that your body consumes or “burns” each day, your weight usually remains the same. If you eat extra calories than you do burn, you will put on weight over time.
Energy unevenness is undoubtedly one of the major factors leading to weight gain. However, your best weight mainly depends on genetic factors, as well as the type of food you eat and the amount of exercise. If your BMI is high, you must lower it to maintain a healthy weight. A high body mass index (BMI) is associated with a greater risk of serious health conditions, such as:
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers
Body fat rather than BMI is more related to the aforementioned health risks. By exercising at least 3 times a week, you be capable of reduce body fat and gain a healthier weight. You should also follow certain eating lifestyle, such as eating only when you are starving, eating carefully, and selecting a diet rich in unprocessed foods. You can also take advantage from nutrition counseling. A dietitian can instruct you which foods to consume and how much food you should munch to lose weight.
BMI indicates your future
Just as a high BMI can cause health troubles, a low BMI can also cause health problems. Insufficient body fat may cause:
- Heart problem
- Bone loss
- Decrease immune function
If your BMI is a little low, consult a doctor. If required, increasing the quantity of food, you eat or dropping the amount of exercise can facilitate you gain weight. A dietitian can also assist you to find out how to gain weight in a healthy way.