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What is Body Mass Index?
Body mass index (BMI) is an assessment of body fat by calculating your height and weight. It doesn’t measure body fat directly, but it uses an equation to make an approximation. BMI can help to find out if a person is at an unhealthy or healthy weight. BMI shows the link between your height and weight as a single number that is not dependent on “frame size.” Even though the creation of the BMI is over 200 years old, it is relatively new as a measure of health.
There are certain A high BMI can be a symptom of too much fat on your body. Meanwhile, a low BMI can be a symptom of too little fat on the body. The higher your BMI result, the higher your possibilities of getting certain severe conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A very low BMI can also become the cause of health problems, including bone loss, decreased immune function, and anemia.
While BMI can be helpful, it actually has limitations.
BMI may exaggerate the amount of body fat in athletes and other people with very muscular bodies. It may also undervalue the amount of body fat in older adults and other people who have lost muscle mass.
What’s a normal BMI?
A normal BMI is around 18.5 and 25.
Meanwhile, a person with a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, a person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese, and a person is considered underweight if the BMI is less than 18.5.
BMI is not a perfect test, as are many other health measurement tools. The results can be diverted by pregnancy or high muscle mass. So, you better consult to your doctor if you’re really concerned about the results of your BMI test.
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BMI table for adults
This is the recommendation of body weight, according to World Health Organization's (WHO). It's based on BMI values for adults and used for both men and women, age 18 and older.
Category BMI range – kg/m2
Severe Thinness< 16
Moderate Thinness 16 – 17
Mild Thinness 17 – 18.5
Normal18.5 – 25
Overweight 25 – 30
Obese Class I 30 – 35
Obese Class II 35 – 40
Obese Class III > 40
Why measuring your BMI is important?
To maintain a good quality of life, it means you need to keep your healthy weight because it affects your overall health. So, measuring your BMI is important to know your current situation regarding your health.
Furthermore, more than two in three adults are considered overweight, and one in three is deemed to be obese. It’s a fact that proves that we need to pay more attention to our body weight (according to National Institutes of Health
People gain weight because of their energy imbalance.
Your body requires a certain amount of energy from food to work. This energy is received in the form of calories. Your weight usually stay the same when you absorb the same amount of calories as your body utilizes everyday. So, if you consume more calories than you burn, you simply will gain weight over time.
A high BMI is related to a greater risk of developing serious health conditions, such as:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- liver disease
- certain cancers (such as breast, colon, and kidney cancers)
If you have a high BMI, it’s crucial for you to lessen it until you reach a healthy weight status. Energy imbalance is undoubtedly one of the most significant causes of weight gain. However, your ideal weight is basically determined by genetics, as well as by the types of foods you consume and how much you work out.
Meanwhile, being underweight is also associated with some risks such as:
- Malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and anemia
- A decrease in immune function
- Growth and development issues
- Possible reproductive issues for women due to hormonal imbalances that can disrupt the menstrual cycle
- Potential complications as a result of surgery
If your BMI is low, then you should consult with your doctor or nutritionist. If necessary, doubling the amount of food you consume everyday or lessening the amount of working out can help you gain weight.