What is BMI?
BMI is an abbreviation for Body Mass Index and is calculated from a person’s weight with respect to his or her height. We can also define it as a calculation of a person’s total body fat used to measure their best weight for health by determining whether they are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
It is measured in kg/m2 as the universal unit of measurement. BMI is mostly intended for adults only, as children and adolescents are constantly growing.
Calculating your BMI is simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive. The best way to know your BMI is by calculating it yourself as you only need to know your height and weight.
You can measure your height using a tape measure and know your weight by weighing yourself using a scale or balance. Then use the value you get to determine, from a chart, whether your weight is ok, too much, too little e.t.c.
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, 25 through 29.9 indicates overweight while 30 or more indicates obesity.
Advantages of BMI.
BMI is an easy and simple method to calculate obesity. This is because the only thing you need to calculate your BMI is your height and weight.
It’s convenient to use because it doesn’t require expensive equipment, special training or a clinical setting to measure. The only equipment you would probably require, if you don’t know your height and weight already, is a scale and a tape measure which are not complicated to read.
Once you know your height and weight, all you need is to plug them into the BMI calculators that are available online.
Calculating your BMI gives you an idea of your general health. The BMI value you get provides a fairly reliable indicator of body fat and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
BMI levels allow researchers to get a good idea of how rates of overweight and obesity differ over time, or between populations.
The BMI results are easy to understand as it’s simply a matter of looking up your score on a standardized chart.
Why is it Important to Constantly Monitor your BMI?
It is important to constantly monitor your BMI as it helps you maintain a healthy body weight and avoid risk of dreadful diseases associated with an unhealthy body mass whether underweight or overweight.
Statistically, there is a greater chance of developing various diseases if you are overweight. For example, the risk of death rises by 20 to 30 per cent as BMI rises from 25 to 27kg/m2.
If your BMI is high (30 and above), you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol and blood lipids (LDL)
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Sleep This is a condition where you stop breathing when you are asleep.
- Female infertility
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Urinary stress incontinence – in chronic cases, a doctor may recommend medication, Men’s Liberty catheters, or pads to manage ongoing incontinence symptoms
A very low BMI(below 18.5) also has some health risks. These include:
- Decreased immune
- Growth and development issues especially in children and
- It may also cause some fertility
- Thinning of the
- Slow wound healing especially after
- Higher risk of heart
Since the BMI value shows how much body fat you have, monitoring it helps you determine whether you should lose weight or gain weight inorder to acquire a healthy body mass.
Monitoring your body fat helps you avoid other problems like breathing complications which can be caused by having excess fats around your neck.
In conclusion, BMI is a reasonable measure of total body fat and can be used in conjunction with other tests, such as underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance or a skinfold caliper exam for more accuracy.