This article provides in depth information on Understanding BMI.
BMI or Body Mass Index can be understood as a primary indicator of an individual’s health. Since personal weight management is an essential part of keeping a check on one’s health, it is vital to know the amount of body fat that the body has accumulated. In this regard, understanding BMI is crucial. BMI is a reliable indicator of the approximate amount of body fat present in an individual. However, this approximation is sufficient to monitor’s one’s health from a dietary and personal lifestyle perspective. Unlike complex charts and expensive machines used in healthcare facilities, BMI serves as a straightforward, inexpensive method of indicating body-fat levels.
Understanding Importance of BMI
Adipose tissue or fat tissue or fat is an essential part of every human body. In fact, fat is vital for the normal functioning of various body parts, including all the critical organs. Along with other tissues like bone, muscle and cartilages, maintaining optimum levels of body fat is critical. Body fat percentage indicates the percentage of an individual’s weight that is comprised of fat. Body fat percentage is very similar to other calculations that denote body fat numbers like body-fat ratio. The remaining body mass, i.e. except the body fat, is called lean body mass. Individuals who have BMI levels that indicate towards more-than-desired fat levels are prone to weight-related issues including diseases such a high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, arthritis and even depression.
Calculating BMI—the BMI Formula
The formula for calculating BMI is rather easy: Body weight (in Kg), divided by the square of the individual’s height (in meters).
Where, 1 Kg equals 2.2 lbs and 1 meter equals 39.37 inches
Interpreting Body Mass Index Calculations
Body mass index calculations are easy-to-make but interpreting the data might be confusing for some people. This is why a standard, figurative chart has been created and it is endorsed by all healthcare professionals.
• People with BMI below 18.5 are regarded as underweight
• People with BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 have normal/healthy weight
• People with BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 are either overweight or have a definite propensity to gain weight
• People with BMI over 30.0 are considered obese
Uniformity of BMI Scales
The interpretation of BMI calculations can be slightly varied for some people. This includes people who are professional athletes and other such people with specialized physical conditioning needs. Some countries have also introduced nation-specific BMI numbers that have minor differences that were deemed necessary because of certain physical factors that are endemic to a particular region. Again, some ethnic groups might be predisposed towards having higher or lower BMI without necessarily being vulnerable to some health problem due to this. However, apart from a handful of such exceptions, the interpretation of BMI data is largely uniform with minor, negligible variations.
It is interesting to note that two people with the same weight and height measurements can have extreme variations in their body-fat percentage. It is recommended that apart from referring to the chart numbers and interpretations explained above, an individual should seek a professional opinion before embarking upon a diet or exercise regimen influenced by BMI. Along with BMI, other factors such as lifestyle choices and circumference of the waist are also considered before the recommended body-weight can be quoted. However, if someone needs to make an overall assessment about his physical condition or the body-fat levels, calculating BMI is among the safest, most dependable options.