We are always conscious about our weight and body fat. We try hard to maintain our physique in one way or the other. Though being fat or lean is not something one should feel ashamed of but in our society people with such body, figures tend to call as less attractive. So, maintaining a healthy body is necessary to avoid several health risk factors associated with an obese body or an underweight body. So, to check your body whether it’s fit or not, we have an amazing criterion that is BMI which stands for Body Mass Index.
What does BMI mean?
Body mass index (BMI) is an assessment of body fat by calculating your height and weight. It doesn’t measure body fat, 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 old, it is new as a measure of health. One can use it as a screening tool to state whether a person is underweight, overweight, or obese, or a healthy weight for their height. If a person’s BMI is out of the healthy BMI range, their health risks may increase. BMI values are age-independent and the same for both sexes. But BMI may not correspond to the same degree of fatness in different populations due to different body proportions. The health risks associated with an increasing BMI are continuous, and the interpretation of BMI grading in relation to risk may differ for different populations. Higher 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.
How to calculate BMI?
There is a proper formula to determine the BMI of the person. You can check your BMI online through standard or metric calculation or you can use steps to check it yourself:
- Divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters.
- Then divide the answer by your height again to get your BMI.
So, BMI is your weight (in kg) over your height squared (in cm).
The range in which your BMI falls tells you how healthy you are!
- BMI less than 18.5: – Underweight
- Between 18.5 to 24.9: -Healthy weight
- Between 25 to 29.9: – Overweight
- 30 or above: – Obesity
Do you know the Benefits of Calculating BMI?
It is very helpful in weight guidelines because of the following reasons:
- It is useful to measure a person’s state of Nourishment. For instance, the normal range for the BMI of a healthy person is from 18.5 to 25.5. and anything below 18.5. is malnutrition and anything over 25.5 is over nutrition to obesity and it has its own grades too.
- It is also useful for those on a diet. It serves as a guide for them to know when they have reached the goal they set.
- Knowing one’s BMI, doctors can determine the health risk arising in the body.
Limitations of calculating BMI:
Each and everything has its own advantages and limitations. Some in the case of BMI include:
- The body mass index (BMI) is a little flawed. It is incorrect as one can calculate it by dividing the body mass in kilograms by the height in meters SQUARED. The problem, of course, is that humans are three-dimensional: volume is proportional to the CUBE of a linear dimension. Since the average density of human tissue is constant, body mass, to a reasonable approximation, is proportional to the CUBE of height. BMI would only work if we were two-dimensional, like cardboard cutouts. Thus, the BMI is not only inaccurate—it’s wrong. It got introduced by a 19th-century medical person, back when you could get into medicine with limited knowledge of mathematics and physics because it “seemed right” to him. One consequence is that if two people have similar builds, the taller one will have a higher BMI, even with a lower body fat percentage. Most tall and muscular athletes will register as “overweight” or “obese” because of their heights.
- The second reason is it does not take different body types into consideration. As you can see, the only two factors here are your weight and height. Remember, one kg of fat is way different than one kg of muscle.
- It’s doesn’t count the mass of your boobs: If you’re a girl with big boobs, then chances are your BMI will be higher.
- Age matters: Age is a factor that this type of BMI doesn’t calculate.
- Bone built is different: Some people are small-framed while others are big-framed, the differences in the building also have an impact on the weight.
- If doctors don’t trust BMI, then neither should you! I told my doctor that my BMI told me I was overweight, that I needed to lose a lot. He gave me a blank look and told me not to use the BMI calculator again.
So, it appears as BMI is at some point faulty and it even depends on the size of the person’s body, thus, BMI isn’t an accurate diagnostic of the body fatness or someone’s health. Because most fitness-focused people have heard, BMI is far from an ideal measurement. Often, when it counts, the BMI dimension might overestimate or underestimate an individual’s body fat.
Can BMI quantify fat?
It cannot quantify how much surplus fat we’ve got within our bodies – instead of bone and muscle – since that must need some complicated and expensive healthcare procedures, which are not practical to perform on the entire population. It will provide a wholesome weight range for a specific height, considering variations in body shape – and it offers a great starting point for all individuals.
Additionally, it does not quantify how fat got layout through the entire body (less fats are okay if a particular area is not in danger). Research demonstrates that those who take a good deal of fat around their waists are at greater risk of health issues than people who have more fat around their thighs and buttocks. They’re more inclined to get fat stored inside their stomach around vital organs, which might raise the possibility of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Importance of maintaining a normal BMI:
It is important to maintain a normal BMI for a healthy body. If one’s BMI exceeds the normal range that means your body has excessive fat than required by your body. Excessive fat in the body can lead to many diseases like:
- High blood pressure,
- Heart disease,
- Brain stroke
If your BMI is below 18.5, that means your body weight is less and you’re malnourished. Some reasons for that could be:
- You don’t have regular meals
- Lost your appetite
- Trying to lose weight
Lower BMI can also result in many problems like:
- Deficiency of nutrients in the body
- Weak immune system
- Fertility problems
How to maintain a normal BMI?
With the importance comes the responsibility of maintenance, so it’s indeed vital to know the ways that contribute to its maintenance. A few ways to keep your body mass index at the correct value are:
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Avoid Junk food
- Eat Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Consume unsalted nuts
Since BMI doesn’t give a complete view of our weight. It gives our body density in kg/m^2 as it is weight divided by the square of height in meters. A better approach towards our weight would be keeping a check on our body fat % age. This gives a better view of the actual amount of fat in our bodies. So, don’t worry about what that weighing scale says, do weight training and other things will get into line.
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