BMI. What is this, you ask? It stands for Body Mass Index. According to Medicalnewstoday.com, BMI is “a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 and over.” What this is saying is that BMI isn’t a direct measure of body fat, but instead is based off a correlation between weight and height. That being said, the site goes on to state that research indicates BMI results do correlate to more sophisticated measurements of body fat but keep in mind that “factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and muscle mass are not accounted for in BMI”.
Okay, so what does knowing our BMI do for us? Simply put, it’s a screening tool used to give reasonable indication of someone’s state of being in regards to weight: healthy weight, underweight, overweight, or obese.
Why would this be important to know? NOT because size determines beauty, but instead it’s about HEALTH! Carrying extra weight increases health risks! According to the site “Excess weight increases how hard the heart has to work, it also raises blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Excess weight can make a person more likely to develop diabetes.” From observation, I would add it increases wear/tear on joints and compromises the immune system, among other things.
While there are many BMI calculators out there, I came across a really awesome BMI calculator that shows body fat percentages in 3D models. Use the easy-to-use sliding scale to input your height and weight data (just make sure to click “American/Imperial” under Measure System so the inputs are in feet/inches and pounds instead of metric). A picture is worth a thousand words!
But don’t stop there. Take your results and reference it to the table below. Where did you land?
- Normal weight 19–24
- Overweight 25–29
- Obesity level I 30–34
- Obesity level II 35–39
- Obesity level III ≥ 40
Take that answer and let it move you to take steps to reduce your health risks … from the inside out, of course!