Understanding Body Mass Index — BMI has two numbers that combine one’s weight with height to know whether a person has the correct weight for their height, which can also indicate how healthy they are.
BMI is a screening tool that can reveal whether a person is underweight or if they have a healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person’s BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly.
Carrying too much weight can lead to a variety of health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. On the other hand, a weight that is too low can increase the risk of malnutrition, osteoporosis, and anemia. Your BIMC doctor will make suitable recommendations.
BMI does not measure body fat directly, and it does not account for age, sex, ethnicity, or muscle mass in adults. However, it uses standard weight status categories that can help doctors to track weight status across populations and identify potential issues in individuals.
The formula for BMI, weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was invented in the early 19th century by Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet as an easy measurement of obesity in the general population and not necessarily for individual fatness. BMI, however, is still used regularly today by medical professionals to determine if a person has a healthy amount of body fat.
Though it can be useful in a general sense, BMI misses important factors such as family history, genetics, lifestyle, age, gender, and muscle mass when considering a person’s overall health and their risks of developing diseases.
Not even the most qualified experts truly understand obesity according to medical professionals. It’s an issue with millions of variables that’s so complex and winds through every facet of someone’s life. In fact, many people who are considered in the “normal” BMI range were found to be unhealthy based on other factors, a UCLA-led study released in 2016 found.
A true indicator is waist circumference, which might be the most important indicator of your health. You may have a high BMI, but if the circumference of your waist is below 35 inches as a woman and 40 inches as a man, you’re more likely to have a healthier weight.
A waist circumference greater than 35 inches in women and greater than 40 inches in men could not only determine overweight status but put a hard-and-fast number on one’s health. Waist circumference above these numbers indicates excessive belly fat, a dangerous type of fat surrounding vital organs, which increases one’s risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the metabolic syndrome.