Body Mass Index Formula | BMI | How to Calculate BMI
What is the importance of Body Mass Index?
Body Mass Index which is a measure of a person's body surface area is an excellent tool to assess a person's body weight and categorize him/her as normal or overweight for health and fitness goals.
The body mass index is an easy way of estimating the percentage of body fat in an individual and it is got by measuring the weight and height and dividing the weight of the individual by the square of the height.
The body mass index (or BMI) is expressed in Kg/m2. There are also BMI charts that can be used to determine the BMI quickly without calculation. These have the mass on one axis and the heights on another axis.
The weight and height of a person in measured and plotted on the chart to get an intersection. The intersecting point is used to determine the body mass index and the chart can easily be used to determine whether a person is within the right limits or if the person is underweight, or overweight.
It is also possible to get the body mass index today from online charts and online BMI calculators by entering your height and your weight into the required fields.
Body Mass Index Formula
Body Mass Index is measured as Body Weight in kilograms up on Height in meter squared.
BMI = Wt in kg / Ht in m squared.
Normal Body Mass Index
- Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25
- Overweight BMI is between 25 and 30
- Obese BMI is between 30 and 35.
- Clinically Obese BMI is between 35 and 40.
- Morbidly Obese BMI is above 40.
The importance of the body mass index
The simplicity in calculating the body mass index means that it is a useful tool for quickly establishing the health status of an individual as patterns to percentage of fat in the body.
It is a simple indicator for assessing the health status of an individual. This is because a person with a high percentage of fat runs a high health risks as it is a precursor to heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
The results of the calculation can be used to issue warning signs so that an individual can make changes to their lifestyle before it gets worse.
In clinical practice, the BMI is usually used as the first line of diagnosis so that the doctor or health worker can have a big picture of a person’s body fat composition. In case it shows that the person is underweight or overweight, the BMI is often followed by a more in depth analysis to determine a more accurate percentage of body fat using more precise and more involved measuring techniques.
You can use the BMI individually to determine the composition of your body. In case the values are within normal limits, you can usually go on with your life style. But if there is a deviation from the norm, it is best to seek advice on a better diagnosis and to take steps to bring the balance back to your body composition.
Other applications of the BMI
The BMI is often used in medical underwriting by insurance companies in the USA for health insurance purposes to determine the health risk of individuals.
This is used to determine high risk individuals (those with very low or very high BMI).
It is also used to determine the level of risk the insurance company is running by insuring individuals with an above average BMI, and this is usually reflected in the premiums as they are slightly higher than the premiums for individuals whose BMI is within the limits that are considered safe (or normal).
Shortcomings of the BMI
The body mass index has been known to have some shortcomings in individuals that are unusually tall and also in athletes that have a high muscular content.
Therefore in these cases, there is the need of modified schemes to calculate their body mass indices. However in these cases, it is usually better to correlate the findings with other methods of measuring body composition.
BMI does not differentiate between overweight people and people with more muscle mass. A Bodybuilder may have a BMI of 28 but still have very low body fat.
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