What is the body mass index (BMI)

Being overweight is generally considered as an appearance issue in the stringent beauty standards set by our society. But is that the reason you should be worrying about your weight? No. The actual reason to worry when you are overweight is that it is an indication of the beginning of many health issues. Other than diabetes and cardiac diseases, excess weight can affect your joints, sleep pattern, mood swings, and cause breathing issues as well.

What does being overweight mean?

When a person consumes more calories than his/her body uses, the extra calories get stored in the body as fats. This causes weight gain. Now there is an amount of pounds that is considered as the non-risky fat ratio in the body depending on the individual’s body specifications. But if weight crosses that line, then it can be an alarm of many health-related risks. Obesity is a pandemic that is affecting not just adults from all over the world but also kids, which is resulting in issues like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cholesterol in kids.

Thus, it has become vital to see the signal at an early stage and respond to it. Now how to know if your weight has reached an alarming stage? Check your BMI. BMI means Body Mass Index. It is a measurement of your weight with respect to your height ratio. More than measurement, it is an indicator of the total body fat present in your body. More often, BMI directly correlates to the total body fat, which means the increase in BMI is an increase in total body fat of the person.

As per WHO, if an adult has a BMI between 25 to 29.9, then he/she is considered to be overweight, which is at medium risk. Whereas, if an adult shows BMI above 30, then he/she is considered to be obese, which is at high risk. A BMI measurement below 18.5 is underweight, whereas between 18.5 to 24.9 is considered as ideal weight.

How to calculate BMI?

There is a simple mathematical formula to calculate your BMI. You can also use a chart that shows the height and weight specifications and match them to know estimated BMI. To make the job simpler, there are online BMI calculators where you need to fill your height and weight measurements, and it instantly shows you your BMI measurement.

The formula to calculate BMI is Weight in kilograms divided by Height in metres squared. As discussed, the ideal BMI score falls between 18.5 to 24.9. But if it is anywhere other than that, then you can follow the BMI chart to know your health status:

Body Mass Index (BMI) Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 plus Obese

You can’t solely rely on BMI measurement to know your health status. You need to consider other factors while assessing the health risks as well, such as cholesterol level, blood sugar level, blood pressure, family history of heart disease, gender, age, waist measurement, physical activities, smoking habits, menopause status, etc.

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