What is the Body Mass Index?
AZ_WeightLossThe BMI (Body Mass Index) has become a useful tool in managing weight and body fat percentage in the last 20 years. Calculating it requires only simple arithmetic and can be performed by anyone. It's important because it provides an objective measurement that, combined with the appropriate scale for age and body type, helps someone manage their body weight more scientifically.

Judgments about body weight can easily become clouded by emotionalism. It's good to be passionate about managing your body, but you need to first get a good grounding in facts. BMI is an important tool for achieving that goal.

BMI factors in not only your weight, but also your height. Simply divide your weight in kilograms (1 lb = 0.454 kg) by the square of your height in meters. (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

So, for a person 5 ft 7 in (67 inches) tall, who weighs 120 lbs the calculation would look like this:

Height: 67 inches x 2.54 cm/inch = 170.18 cm = 1.7018 m
Height squared: 1.7018 m x 1.7018 m = 2.896 m2
Weight: 120 lbs x 0.454 kg/lb = 54.48 kg

So, BMI = 54.48 kg / 2.896 m2 = 18.81

But what does this number mean? The following table lists one commonly accepted classification, using BMI:

Under 18.5 = Underweight
Between 18.5 and 24.99 = Normal
Between 25 and 29.99 = Overweight
Between 30 and 34.99 = Obese (Class 1)
Between 35 and 39.99 = Obese (Class 2)
40 and above = Extreme Obesity

Of course, anyone near the borderline of one classification shouldn't panic, since these can't be anything but guidelines. Nevertheless, anyone closer to the higher range should consider the health risks associated with a high BMI. Some of those are: hypertension, increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart problems) and increased chance of diabetes. Consult a physician for details.

There are limitations on the usefulness of BMI. It doesn't take into account different body types, athletic conditioning, age, muscle-to-fat ratio and other characteristics. As a result, it can overestimate the risk for stocky athletes and underestimate it for older individuals who have reduced muscle mass. And, gender isn't taken into account either. For example, women, on average, have a naturally larger percentage of body fat than men.

Another useful measure to couple with BMI: waist circumference. Since, for men and women both (though particularly for men) body fat is stored preferentially around the waist this can be a useful piece of information. For most men around, say, 5 ft 9 inches a waist measurement over 37 inches (94 cm) is substantial, while one over 40 inches (101.6 cm) indicates a health risk. For women approximately 5 ft 7 inches tall, the numbers are 31 inches (78.7 cm) and 35 inches (89 cm), respectively.

Keep in mind that these are averages, but those with substantial waistlines can see the amount of excess fat stored, confirming that the numbers constitute a useful piece of information.

What to do with, or about, those numbers is a different story, of course. No single measurement tells the whole story about weight, body fat and how to manage it. But these represent useful and objective measures when considering any weight loss program.

If your lookng for a program that will not only help you take the weight off but keep it off too, take a look at our Rapid Weight Loss Program  featuring the easy to use, online EZDietPlanner. Just read through some of our patient success stories and you'll be convinced our program is right for you!

To learn more you can order our FREE medical report entitled: The Real Weight Loss Solution or simply sign up for our FREE Body Fat Analysis.

 

Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on any product label or packaging. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting a diet, exercise, supplementation program or before taking any medication. If you have or may have any health problems and are considering Dr. Sattele's Rapid Weight Loss Program or one of the treatments/procedures discussed in this site, you should consult further with a medical professional first. The products and claims made about specific products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
 
┬ęPhysicians Marketing Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer