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Advantages & Disadvantages of BMI

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool used to calculate body fat based on the height and weight of an individual. It is an easily accessible and cost-effective way to gauge an ideal range of what a healthy body should weigh. However, BMI is not always accurate and can be limiting in some

ways. BMI doesn’t distinguish between the source of your weight, for example, muscle mass, skeletal mass, subcutaneous fat, visceral fat, etc. Lifestyle habits, diet and genetics should also be considered along with BMI when assessing your health. Read more to get a complete idea about the advantages and disadvantages of BMI.

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Importance of BMI Measurements

The Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement is used to determine the body fat in an individual. The calculations are done based on one’s height and weight. In fact, a BMI calculator is used to calculate the value and the tool is readily available online.


The BMI value gives us a general idea of one’s healthy body weight. While there are people who are in the average weight range, a significant number still fall under the overweight/underweight category. Knowing the BMI really helps people to maintain healthy body weight and mitigate future health risks.


However, BMI is not an accurate measurement and has its limitations. In this section, we will be discussing the pros and cons of BMI measurement.

Advantages of BMI

The benefits of BMI measurement are as follows -


  • As stated, BMI helps measure the obesity rate in people. Observing the changes in BMI values helps doctors evaluate the obesity levels in people over time.

  • When the BMI of a significant population is calculated, it helps researchers gather data that can be used to examine the obesity epidemic.

  • It helps researchers determine the pattern of diet that results in obesity in a large group of people.

  • Knowing the BMI value of an individual, doctors can mitigate the health risks arising due to obesity.

Disadvantages of BMI

Much like any other body fat measurement technique, BMI is equally flawed and has drawbacks. These disadvantages include -


  • BMI is a simple mathematical formula that measures body fat based on your height and weight. It does not take into account the source of the weight - whether it is from lean tissue or fat.

  • So, even when you have an average weight, based on the BMI value, you might fall under the overweight category.

  • BMI does not distinguish between the type of fat one carries - whether it is subcutaneous or visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is under your skin and influences the way you look. Visceral fat is mostly hidden and is located deep in the abdomen region surrounding the internal organs. It imposes a high risk to one’s health.


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BMI and Health Insurance

Since the BMI value helps determine the body fat in an individual, it allows doctors to mitigate any health risk arising from the same. On the other hand, an above-average BMI means that you are obese, which can affect your term insurance and health insurance premiums.


Since obesity can lead to near-future health issues, you will be considered a high-risk applicant when buying health insurance and term insurance plans in India. So, that increases the probability of you raising claims in the future. Hence, the insurance premiums for a high-risk applicant will be relatively high compared to a low-risk applicant. Even if you are a healthy individual and fall sick less often, it is vital to get a health insurance plan to stay prepared to deal with unforeseen financial expenses.

The Bottom Line

As mentioned earlier, BMI is not an accurate tool to measure the health of an individual. However, we do not have an alternative technique that is cost-effective. The available ones are quite expensive and not easily accessible by everyone. Hence, BMI is still widely used to determine the health of an individual.


What’s important is to note that BMI is one of the many factors that affect a person’s health. Other factors that need to be taken into consideration include lifestyle habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking, diet, and genetics. Based on these aspects, the overall health of a person can be determined.


If you are looking to calculate your BMI measurement, use the BMI calculator available on Bajaj Markets.


While you are at it, browse and buy health insurance plans at Bajaj Markets online. It takes only a few minutes to have your and your family’s medical needs covered in case of emergencies with a comprehensive health insurance plan. And to secure the financial future of your loved ones, even in your absence, take a look at the term insurance plans as well.

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FAQs on Pros and Cons of BMI

Why is BMI important?

BMI or Body Mass Index is a system of measurement used by doctors and individuals to determine whether a person is underweight, at a normal weight or obese

What is the ideal BMI for an individual?

The ideal BMI range for an individual is between 18.5 to 24.9. 

At what BMI is an individual classified as obese?

An individual with a BMI score of 30 and above is considered obese.

How can I reduce my BMI to normal levels?

You can use these tips to lose weight and reach normal BMI levels:

  1. Count your calories

  2. Exercise regularly

  3. Do weight training 

Is a BMI score of 26 normal?

A BMI score of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, so a score of 26 will be categorised as overweight.

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