Have you ever heard the term Body Mass Index or BMI? Do you have Any idea what it is? Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.
BMI, an estimation of body fat that can be calculated using a person's height and weight.
Health care professionals use BMI, as well as advanced body composition tools, including special X-ray machines, to assess their patients' risk factors for certain weight-related health conditions.
Understanding Weight: BMI & Body Fat
The number you see when you step on the scale doesn't tell the whole story about how healthy (or unhealthy) you may be.
Weight is usually one of the first topics that come up in discussions about personal health. But the number you see when you step on the scale doesn't tell the whole story about how healthy (or unhealthy) you may be.
Those looking for a clearer picture of what their weight really means in relation to their health may want to take a look at metrics other than weight. One of these metrics is the body mass index, or BMI, an estimation of body fat that can be calculated using a person's height and weight. Health-conscious individuals might also want to know more about their body composition, which refers to the proportion of fat tissue you have, relative to lean tissue (muscles, organs, etc.).
Health care professionals use BMI, as well as advanced body composition tools, including special X-ray machines, to assess their patients' risk factors for certain weight-related health conditions. And anyone can use readily available tools — such as online BMI calculators, skinfold calipers and bioelectrical impedance devices — to better assess their health and physical fitness from the comfort of their own home.
The body mass index is an estimation of a person's body fat, according to the National Institutes of Health. To calculate BMI, divide your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches) squared, and then multiply that number by a conversion factor of 703. This same calculation can be used when measuring weight in kilograms and height in meters, but no conversion factor is needed.
For most individuals, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 means that their weight is normal, or "acceptable," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 means a person is overweight, and those with a BMI over 30.0 are considered obese.
Those whose BMI puts them in the "overweight" category should consider losing weight if they also have two or more health risk factors, such as smoking, inactivity or high blood pressure.
BMI is also not always a reliable metric for those who fall into the "normal" weight category. It's possible to have a normal weight status but still have an unhealthy amount of fat compared to lean muscle.
Talk to your doctor about BMI and a healthy weight for you!