BMI, known as Body Mass Index, is a reliable measure of body shape, indicating body fatness and weight for a person of a specific height. It is calculated by dividing weight in kilogram by square of height. If you know your BMI, it will be easier to know what weight loss you need to achieve. The BMI calculation is a helpful reference and not an accurate measure of ideal weight, nor does it apply to pregnant women.
As per the BMI reading, if you are under 18.5, this indicates you are underweight, which means putting on a few pounds will not do you any harm. However, if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, that means you have a normal weight. A BMI of more than 30 qualifies as overweight.
One of the biggest limitations of BMI is that it fails to distinguish between fat and muscle. But this matters more for athletes, body builders and people with considerable lean body mass.
Why is BMI used?
Well, it is a relatively easy measurement that informs you whether you are at a low, high, or no risk as far as weight-related problems are concerned. True, there are other ways to measure body fat that provide more useful readings, but they are often more difficult to measure.
BMI values are the same for both sexes. BMI is age-independent and may not relate to the same degree of fatness for all populations because of different body proportions.
BMI helps in determining if you are obese, overweight, underweight or normal. If you are health conscious, calculating your BMI can show the way for a change in lifestyle for better health. So when you know what weight loss you need to achieve, you can take charge of your health.
By maintaining a healthy weight, you can enjoy life in a better way with
- Better sleep patterns
- Lower burden on heart and circulatory system
- Fewer joint and muscle pains
- Better regulation of fluids and blood pressure
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- More effective metabolism
Your BMI can be an indicator of whether you are underweight, overweight or have unhealthy weight.