Have you ever measured your body mass index (BMI)? Measuring your BMI can give you a view of how much body fat your have and can help you determine if you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. This form of measurement takes in account your height and weight to determine your BMI. If you have a high BMI you may be prone to certain health risks.
BMI is not just as simple as getting on a scale and looking at your weight. There is some math involved as you must take your weight in kilograms and divide it by the square in of your height in meters. You can use this calculation as an indicator of how high your body fat is. Knowing how high your body fat is can help you determine certain health risks. This is because BMI appears to be strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcomes. Your healthcare provider might couple your BMI measurement with other assessments to determine if you really are at risk for things such as heart disease and diabetes.
So now that you know how BMI is calculated and what it can do, what does this mean for you? BMI is mainly used as an initial assessment before clinicians evaluate you using other assessments such as skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings. For adults, if your BMI is below 18.5 you are considered underweight and 25 or above starts to get into the overweight category. Normal or “healthy” weight is between 18.5 and 24.9. But don’t be afraid if you have a BMI of 25 or higher because your muscles are not accounted for in a BMI calculation. A lot of athletes are considered overweight according to a BMI measurement because muscle weighs more than fat and that can increase your BMI.
BMI is a good, initial assessment towards determining if you are at risk for heart disease and diabetes. However, it is not as accurate for muscular people because muscle weights more than fat. This is why other assessments are taken by medical professionals to accurately measure your body. If you want to get your BMI taken, please consult your clinician.
For more information on BMI, click here.
Article written by William Graves.