As people become more health conscious, Body Mass Index (BMI) has become a buzzword that is thrown around more often than it used to. The BMI is nothing but the proportion between your height and weight. It is, however, an important indicator of your health. Since obesity is becoming rampant, and health practitioners have linked it to a lot of lifestyle diseases, it has become all the more important to ensure that you have your weight in check.
Health practitioners have together come up with the BMI numbers which indicate whether your weight is appropriate according to your height or not. This is an exhaustive list that can be used internationally and is relevant across all cultures. Since the BMI is nothing but the balance between your height and weight, it can be a very reliable indicator of any person`s total fatness. The BMI is also used to classify people into weight categories, highlighting those who may be prone to potential weight and lifestyle related disorders.
Since this can be an indicator, people who are in the extreme ranges of the BMI measurements can be offered preventive care. This can be extremely beneficial because owing to the knowledge of the skewed relationship between their height and weight, a lot of people may be able to modify their lifestyle to prevent falling prey to some really terrible diseases including anorexia and diabetes. BMI is usually calculated differently for adults, teens and children. Therefore, it would not be wise to interpret the results of either of them on a similar scale. Though BMI does not really measure fat directly, it does help directly measure the amount of body fat.
It is important to understand that though maintaining a healthy balance between height and weight is crucial for good health, the BMI in itself is certainly no indicator of good health or disease. It is certainly not a reliable diagnostic tool. However, it is only an indicator to assess whether the weight range - either excessive or inadequate, could pose potential risks. The health care practitioner will have to conduct further investigations to say definitively whether the weight could pose a health challenge. The BMI is calculated by the weight in kilograms, divided by the height in meters, square. Before actually performing the calculations, make sure that your measurements are in the standard units used for calculating the BMI.
For adults, over the age of 20 years, the standard BMI is as follows:
Below 18.5 - Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 - Normal
25.0 to 29.9 - Overweight
30.0 and above is obese.
In most of the cases, apart from the normal weight group, health care practitioners would advise lifestyle changes and caution to the rest of the three groups. The obese group is usually the most prone to developing potential health issues. Since the correlation between BMI and body fatness is rather strong, it is important that you consider the number fairly seriously and try to strike a healthier balance between your height and weight.