Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number measured from each individual's weight and height. BMI offers a consistent gauge of body fatness for majority of people and is used to screen for weight categories, which might lead to health problems. Differences in BMI among people of the similar age and sex are generally due to body fat. However there may be some exceptions to this rule that means a BMI figure might not be really accurate.

Body Mass Index

BMI Categories:

Category BMI rating
Starvation less than 15
Underweight from 15 to 18.50
Normal from 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight from 25 to 29.99
Obese from 30 to 39.99
Extremely Obese greater than 40

What your BMI means?

Once you have calculated your BMI, you could decide up on your healthy weight range.

If you have a BMI of:

• Under 18 – you are very too thin or underweight and perhaps malnourished.
• Under 20 – you are underweight and can go for some gain weight.
• 20 to 25 – you have a healthy weight choice for young and middle-aged adults.
• 26 to 30 – you are actually overweight.
• Over 30 – you are heavy.

BMI calculations would overrate the value of body fat for:

• Body builders
• High performing athletes
• Pregnant women.

BMI calculations would underrate the amount of body fat for:

• The elderly
• Physically disabled with muscle wasting

BMI and children

The healthy weight assortment for adults of a BMI from 20 to 25 is not actual well-compatible measure for children.

For adults who have stopped rising, a boost in BMI is generally caused by a boost in body fat. But as kids grow, their amount of body fat alters and so would their BMI. For example, BMI frequently decreases during the preschool years and then rises into adulthood. For this cause a BMI calculation for a child or a young person should be compared against age and sex percentile charts.

Some exceptions to the rule

BMI does not distinguish between the body fat and muscle mass. This simply means that there are some exceptions to the BMI guidelines.

• Muscles – Body builders or athletes and other people who have a lot of muscle bulk would have a high BMI but are not overweight.
• Physical disabilities – People with a physical disability and are not capable to walk might have muscle wasting. Their BMI might as well be to some extent lower but this does not actually mean they are underweight. In these cases, it is vital to check with a dietitian who would offer helpful advice.
• Height – For people who have less height that is shorter (for example Asian populations), the cut-offs for overweight and fatness might need to be lower. This is because there is an augmented danger of diabetes and heart disease that starts at a BMI as low as 23 in Asian populations.

How overweight/underweight can affect overall health?

The link between being overweight or fat and the chance you would become sick is not exact. The study is still continuing. However, when data from huge groups of people are investigated, statistically there is a higher chance of raising difference types of diseases if you are overweight. For instance, the risk of death rises somewhat (by 20–30 per cent) as BMI rises from 25 to 27. As BMI rises above 27, the danger of death rises more sharply (by 60 per cent).

Risks of being obese and physically disabled:

If you are overweight (BMI over 25) and physically disabled, you might develop:

• Cardiovascular (heart and blood circulation) disease
• Gall bladder disease
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• Diabetes
• Osteoarthritis
• Certain other kinds of cancer, such as colon and breast cancer.

Risks of being underweight

If you are underweight (BMI less than 20), you might be malnourished and develop:

• Compromised immune function
• Respiratory disease
• Digestive disease
• Cancer
• Osteoporosis
• Increased risk of falls and fractures.

Body fat distribution and health risk

A person’s waist boundary is a good analyst of health danger than BMI. Having fat around the stomach or a ‘pot belly’, in spite of of your body size, means you are more probable to develop sure obesity-associated health conditions. Fat mainly deposited around the hips and buttocks does not look to have the same risk. Men, especially, frequently deposit weight in the waist region.

Researches have also shown that the distribution of body fat is related with an increased occurrence of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Usually, the connection between health risks and body fat distribution is as follows:

• Least risk – thin (no pot belly)
• Moderate risk – flabby with no pot belly
• Moderate to high risk – thin with pot belly
• High risk – flabby with pot belly.

Waist circumference and health risks
Waist circumference could be used to point out health risk.

For men:
• 94cm or more – augmented risk
• 102cm or more – considerably increased risk.

For women:
• 80cm or more – augmented risk
• 88cm or more – considerably increased risk.

Genetic factors

The propensity to put down fat around the middle is prejudiced by a person’s genes. However, you could take this genetic propensity into account and do something about it. Being bodily active, keeping away from smoking and eating unsaturated fat in its place of saturated fat have been shown to reduce the risk of developing abdominal obesity.

Things to remember

• BMI is an estimated gauge of your total body fat.
• Being underweight or overweight could cause with some health problems, particularly if you are also inactive.
• Your waist perimeter is a superior forecaster of health risk.

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