Body mass index, fondly represented as BMI is an indicative measurement used for the assessment of an individual’s weight to height aggregate. BMI is determined by the weight to height ratio. It is calculated by dividing weight (in Kilograms) by the square of height (measured in meters). That is W(kg)/H2 (m)
BMI is also known to be used to suggest if a person is of a normal weight range, overweight or underweight range when looked up against certain standards.
Body mass index (BMI) is a type of anthropometric measurement that is used to determine a person’s weight for height correspondence.
The standard BMI for individuals is seen to be quite universal in nature. Except that we all have different weights and heights, we all are checked using a universal BMI standard chart.
What does a Body mass index ( BMI) value mean?
The BMI value basically interprets the state of the person’s body weight as regards to their health status. This is the reason why it spells out if a person is underweight or overweight or is of normal weight when compared with a standard.
According to the world health organization (WHO), the standard Body mass index for all weight categories are listed below;
Underweight is when the BMI level is less than 18.5kg/m2
Normal is when the BMI is between 18.5- 24.9 kg/m2
Overweight is when the BMI is between 25-29.9 kg/m2 (usually the flag range)
Obesity class I is when the BMI of a person is over 30-35 kg/m2
Obesity class II is when the BMI of a person is over 35-40 kg/m2
Obesity class III is when the BMI of a person is over 40-45 kg/m2
Obesity class IV is when the BMI of a person is over 45-50 kg/m2. Also called morbid obesity
Obesity class V is when the BMI of a person is over 50-60 kg/m2. This class is super obesity
Obesity class VI is when the BMI of a person is over 60 kg/m2. This is the height. Also known as hyper-obesity.
The most popular BMI categories in most parts are the first three sets. That doesn’t rule the fact that there could be people in other categories of BMI readings.
In different countries and regions, there are variations as to what the allowed BMI values and interpretations are. Many countries have defined theirs (although from the original), but slightly different. This is based on their different lifestyle, eating habits, genetic makeup, climatic conditions, etc. Hong Kong and India have different values in their BMI table
BMI measure or puts into consideration body weight in regards to the fat levels.
What does a BMI reading say about our health?
It is generally known and believed that being overweight is really detrimental to health and it would be beneficial if some of the numbers on the scale would be reduced. The BMI tells if a person is at risk of being obese or even if they are obese already. The BMI tells this from the calculations done. Obesity is linked with other chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and stroke. These can cause long-term disability, sometimes making people require a knee scooter to move around.
The BMI result also reveals the presence of fat (basically of adipose tissues) in the body. It helps to know the level at which a person’s fat content affect their healthy weights. Fats accumulation in the abdominal region is mostly unhealthy and risky to the health of any person.
The universal interpretation of the Body mass index readings does not usually apply to most athletes and gym enthusiasts. Their BMI may be slightly higher than the normal ranges.
This is due to the increased formation of the muscles developed in them during their exercises. The increased muscles in athletes add to the general weight of the body, thereby causing their BMI to be slightly higher than the normal range. Note that the added weight here is not fat but muscle mass.
Reasons why your BMI could be high
There are a few reasons why a person’s BMI could be on the high side regardless of age, gender, or even location. They include;
Leading a sedentary or less active lifestyle will cause a build-up of fat in the body’s adipose tissues. This would cause an increase in the weight of such an individual. Like a person who sits without any active work for over 10 hours a day at work and at home after work hours can be tagged as sedentary.
Excess eating or binge eating
When a person eats excessively, way beyond the requirements of the body, they tend to store the unused food as fats in the adipose tissues. The fats add to the weight of such a person. The excess calories consumed will not be burnt by leading a sedentary life (a life without active movements, like exercising).
Intensive exercise and no exercise
When a person does heavy lifting or works out very frequently, they tend to have their muscle mass and size increased. This directly affects the overall weight of that person, causing his or her BMI to go above the “normal” 25 kg/m2 range. Also when a person is not active in terms of doing exercises, there is an increased chance of adding weight and having an increased BMI. If you desire weight loss, you start from home by getting an indoor stationary bike.
Family history plays a role in the body mass index of an individual. If a person’s parents are obese or having increased weights, there is a high tendency that they also could be obese or have a high BMI. This could be undoubtedly watched or curbed by an actively modified lifestyle and a healthy diet.
Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies, a trained medical doctor who loves to educate people about their health as much as he can.