What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an inexpensive, non-invasive, painless screening tool that correlates to body fat percentage and identifies possible weight and health problems for adults.
This number is a good estimate of body fat and how much at risk you are for certain diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and gallstones.
The higher your BMI, the higher your health risk.
How to Calculate BMI
Your BMI is calculated using your height and weight.
Here are the formulas for calculating body mass index standard and metric…
|Body Mass Index Formula|
BMI = (weight in pounds X 703 )
height in inches²
BMI = weight in kilograms
height in meters
And here’s a BMI calculator provided by the CDC. Just plug in your height and weight, then click calculate.
What is a Healthy BMI?
There are a few key things to take into consideration when assessing your BMI.
- Females generally have more body fat than males.
- Older people generally have lost muscle mass and have more body fat than younger people. (This is not always the case. This highly depends on level of fitness!)
- Body builders and serious athletes will have a higher BMI due to higher muscle mass.
- The relationship between body mass index and body fat percentage varies with age, sex, and race.
- BMI is measured using your weight which includes both fat AND muscle..
Here’s how the CDC classifies BMI ranges:
|18.5 – 24.9||Normal|
|25.0 – 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 and above||Obese|
If you are in the overweight or obese category and you have 2 or more risk factors, you can lower your risk for obesity related diseases by just losing 5-10% of your current body weight.
BMI isn’t the only thing to consider when assessing your risk for weight related diseases.
Other things like your waist size and hip to waist ratio, your level of daily activity, stress, lab levels such as cholesterol, triglycerides, cortisol, and fasting blood sugar, resting heart rate, and high blood pressure increase your risk substantially.
Is your BMI normal? OR do you need to work on decreasing it? Do you need to lose weight?
Here are some posts you may want to read next…