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Health tips: BMI, what is it and what you need to know

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Health tips: BMI, aka Body Mass Index, is a measurement of a person’s weight with respect to his or her height. In order to measure a person whether they are overweight or not, most people will use the BMI calculator.

More often than not, a higher BMI correlates to higher body fat percentage. However, it is good to note that BMI is not 100% accurate because it only takes in weight and height as a reference.

How to calculate BMI

The formula is – BMI = (Weight in kilograms) divides by (Height in meters squared)

Utilization of a mathematical formula is the way you can calculate BMI. It may also be estimated using tables during which one can match height in inches to weight in pounds to estimate BMI. There are convenient calculators available on websites that help calculate BMI additionally.

Categorization

A standard BMI score is one that falls between 18.5 and 24.9. This shows that a person is within the normal weight range for his or her height. Categorizing a person as underweight, standard weight, overweight and obese can be done using a BMI chart.

  • <18.5 BMI, underweight
  • >18.5, <24.9 BMI, standard/ normal weight
  • >24.9, <29.9 BMI, overweight
  • >30 BMI, obese
The medical relevance of BMI

Healthcare professionals like using BMI as an indicator to assess a person’s health risks associated with obesity and overweight. Overweight and obese people normally have a higher risk of certain illnesses such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

However, assessing a person’s health risk using BMI is just one of the factors. Other factors such as age, gender, blood pressure, family history of certain diseases, smoking and many other things are taken into consideration.

BMI is not accurate all the time

Using BMI as an indicator is popular because it is very simple. However, it is important to note that since it only takes in height and weight as indicators, it is very inaccurate at times. For example, an extremely muscular man who is heavy will be categorized as overweight according to BMI even though he is very fit and healthy. Therefore, it is beneficial to use other forms of tests such as body fat testing to accurately test for these unique individuals.

Key takeaways

Keeping an active and healthy lifestyle is important for every individual. Even if you have a bad BMI score, you can keep working hard and one day you will succeed in becoming more fit.

 

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