If you have ever considered losing weight your doctor or Internet research has most likely asked what your current BMI is. You know it is important to know, but do you know what it is? A BMI is a body mass index, which each person has. The BMI is a calculation based on your weight and height and helps to determine your current state of health. While it can be a broad definition of your health, it helps doctors to find out if you’re overweight according to your height. If your BMI is in the overweight or obesity range, it may lead to other adverse health conditions. These medical conditions include varicose veins, heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and others.
Calculating Your BMI
If you’re concerned about your weight and the possible negative consequences of being overweight, the first step is to find out what your BMI is. To calculate your BMI, you will need to know your current height and weight. Any weight scale will work but for the most accurate results, use a high-quality digital scale or ask your doctor to weigh you. Your height will need to be in inches so if you are 5 feet 6 inches, you will multiple 12 inches by 5 feet plus 6 inches for a total of 66 inches. Next, multiply your weight in pounds by 703 and divide the number by your height in inches. Divide it once more by your height in inches. So for a woman who is 66 inches tall and 200 pounds, the final number is 32.3.
There is a BMI table that determines if your current BMI is in the healthy, underweight, overweight, or obese category. A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, while a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is a healthy weight range. 25.0 to 29.9 is overweight, 30.0 to 39.9 is obese and anything over 40 is morbidly obese. The 5 foot 6 inch woman who weighs 200 pounds which a BMI of 32.3 is in the obese category.
While a person’s body mass index (BMI) can help determine if they are overweight, it is not a fool-proof system. There are some lifestyles and details that should be considered when finding out if someone is in the right weight or not. For example, muscle weighs more than fat so a body builder is going to have a high BMI but it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to lose weight or that they should be considered obese. Elderly need a higher BMI to prevent certain illnesses like osteoporosis and children have special circumstances as well.
Aside from your weight and BMI, doctors will use other factors to determine if you’re healthy and if you need to lose weight. These factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, your blood sugar levels, your diet and exercise, and unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking.