The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple method to measure your total amount of fat and your level of personal fitness. It is also used to gauge a person’s risk for health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease.
The National Institute of Health has defined BMI to be a useful measurement to assess if you are underweight, normal overweight or obese.
How is BMI calculated
The formula is easy to compute. It is calculated by multiplying your weight in pounds (lbs) by 703 and dividing the result by your height (in inches) squared.
weight (lbs) x 703 ÷ height (in2)
You can also use a BMI calculator available online to avoid the math and find out if you have a healthy weight.
However, it should be noted that BMI is not accurate in some cases. In some people, BMI is not the best measure of body fat and overall health range. It does not take into account overall body composition, bone density, muscle mass, and sex and racial and differences. It is only an approximate measurement because it does not directly access body fat.
When to see a doctor
Ideally, if your BMI belongs to any category other than normal, you should get a checkup once in every six months. And the farther your BMI is from the normal range (i.e. 25 and above), the more risk you are at. A person with a BMI of greater than 30 is at risk of developing chronic health conditions. Therefore if you have a BMI of 27, for example, you are considered overweight regardless of your body composition or gender. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of the US adult population (42.5%) are obese. We strongly advise that you see a doctor immediately to evaluate your health status and risks.
NOVA Bariatrics in Dallas, TX works with patients to support their need for a healthy lifestyle. It is our concern that all our patients understand their health conditions before assessing their eligibility for weight loss surgery. Our expert bariatric team provides various approaches to weight loss surgery including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery.
Why is healthy BMI important
If you are underweight or overweight, it can cause health risks, especially if you are physically inactive and your BMI is higher than normal. As BMI increases, it increases your risk of developing several health problems and weight-related diseases such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Coronary artery disease
- Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and heart attack
- Infertility and sexual health problems
- Mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and psychological distress
Doctors, bariatric experts, dietitians and other health professionals use BMI as an indicator or your risk of life-threatening diseases. <//p>
What your BMI means
Once you have measured your BMI, you can classify if your BMI falls into one of the following categories with their corresponding weight range:
|less than 18.5
|18.5 – 24.9
|25 – 29.9
|Obesity (Class 1)
|Obesity (Class 2)
|35 – 39.9
|Obesity (Class 3)