Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of body weight in relation to height. It provides a quick and easy method to estimate body fat and screen a person’s weight category: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
You can check your BMI by calculating your height and body weight. To compute an adult’s BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared (m²).
For adults, a BMI between 18.5-24.9 falls within normal or healthy weight. A BMI of 25.0 or more is overweight, while a BMI below 18.5 is underweight.
Knowing your BMI allows you to keep your body fat ratio in check in relation to your height, and lets you know if you are at risk of developing other diseases. A healthy BMI generally leads to a happier and healthier life, while high BMI is associated with the risks of being overweight, including developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Being aware of your BMI allows you and your health provider to make more informed decisions about your health.
BMI can be a screening tool, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual. To determine if BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider performs further assessments. Such assessments include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, and family history.
If you have a BMI of [30.0 and above], you are categorized as obese. Obesity carries effects on the body, and people who are obese are at risk of higher mortality, as well as developing certain health conditions such as:
– Type 2 diabetes
– High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or unhealthy blood lipid levels
– Coronary heart disease
– Gallbladder disease
– Sleep apnea and breathing problems
– Chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress
– Clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions