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About Body Mass Index

The most basic definition of obesity or overweight is having extra body fat to the extent that it becomes a potential health risk and BMI is a reliable way to find out if the person has too much body fat.

Body Mass Index, or commonly known as BMI, is a measurement of choice used by physicians to check whether you have healthy weight or not. The BMI is derived from a mathematical formula that factors in the person’s height as well as his/her weight.

BMI Chart

BMI is not an absolute perfect measure as it does not directly access body fat.

BMI is not an ideal measure, because it does not directly evaluate body fat. As bone and muscle are denser than fat, a muscular person or an athlete may have a higher BMI, but still not have too much fat. But typically, most individuals are not sportsmen, and for most people, BMI is a very good evaluation of their level of body fat. The BMI is calculated based on your height and your body weight. The

Please refer to the chart below

Body Weight (pounds)

BMI

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

Height (inches)

Body Weight (pounds)

58

91

96

100

105

110

115

119

124

129

134

138

59

94

99

104

109

114

119

124

128

133

138

143

60

97

102

107

112

118

123

128

133

138

143

148

61

100

106

111

116

122

127

132

137

143

148

153

62

104

109

115

120

126

131

136

142

147

153

158

63

107

113

118

124

130

135

141

146

152

158

163

64

110

116

122

128

134

140

145

151

157

163

169

65

114

120

126

132

138

144

150

156

162

168

174

66

118

124

130

136

142

148

155

161

167

173

179

67

121

127

134

140

146

153

159

166

172

178

185

68

125

131

138

144

151

158

164

171

177

184

190

69

128

135

142

149

155

162

169

176

182

189

196

70

132

139

146

153

160

167

174

181

188

195

202

71

136

143

150

157

165

172

179

186

193

200

208

72

140

147

154

162

169

177

184

191

199

206

213

73

144

151

159

166

174

182

189

197

204

212

219

74

148

155

163

171

179

186

194

202

210

218

225

75

152

160

168

176

184

192

200

208

216

224

232

76

156

164

172

180

189

197

205

213

221

230

238

How is BMI Calculated?

The BMI is calculated by dividing the person’s weight in kilograms/pounds by his/her height in square meters (BMI = kg/m2). However, you don’t need to fret over the calculations as there are lots of free BMI calculators available online. The result tells you how healthy you are.

So if you weighed 85 kg and your height is 1.5 metres then you will work out your BMI like this:

85 ÷ 1.5 ÷ 1.5 = 31.1

Below is a BMI table for adults

Category

BMI range - kg/m2

Severe Thinness

< 16

Moderate Thinness

16 - 17

Mild Thinness

17 - 18.5

Normal

18.5 - 25

Overweight

25 - 30

Obese Class I

30 - 35

Obese Class II

35 - 40

Obese Class III

> 40

What is the clinical relevance of BMI

BMI in adults works as a health index. If the person’s body fat level is above average, then the BMI acts as a scale used regularly along with the methods used by the individual to reduce this excessive unhealthy fat. A review of 10,000+ people in the United States, published in 2014, showed that people with a BMI of 25-29.9 had a 50% increased risk of diabetes compared to people with a BMI of 18.5-24.9. The results found:

  • BMI 25-29.9 (overweight): 50% higher type 2 diabetes risk
  • BMI 30-34.9 (obesity class I): 2.5 times more likely to get diabetes
  • BMI 35-39.9 (obesity class II): 3.6 times more likely to get diabetes
  • BMI 40+ (obesity class III): 5.1 times more likely to develop diabetes

What is Normal BMI?

A healthy BMI range lies between 18.5 to 24.9. A thin person with lots of muscle can have more a higher BMI than the larger sized person whose weight constitutes mostly of fat rather than muscle.

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