BMI stands for Body Mass Index and refers to the ratio of your weight to your height squared. BMI is used to assess a person’s body weight and can serve as an indicator of the risk for obesity-related diseases. To find out how to check your BMI, keep on reading.
How to find your BMI
There are many ways that you can use to find your BMI. There is a great number of online tools, such as a BMI table or various BMI charts that can help you to calculate your body mass index. You can also use the following formula:
(Weight in pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703. Another way would be to convert your weight into kilograms, convert your height into meters squared and then, divide your weight by your height.
What is the ideal BMI?
The ideal body mass index is generally considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. If your values are below 18.5, then you are considered underweight. Low body weight is associated with an increased risk for anaemia and nutritional deficiencies, amenorrhea and fertility problems among women, osteoporosis, a high risk for infections and disease, poor wound healing and cardiac arrhythmia. If your values are above 25, then you are considered overweight and if your BMI is above 30, it’s an indicator of obesity. Excessive body weight increases the risk for many diseases and particularly cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes. Many studies have shown that a high BMI increases the risk of morbidity for both men and women. The good news is that losing even 10% of your body weight can improve your health considerably.
The limitations of the body mass index
The main problem with BMI is that it doesn’t measure body fat percentages, it only measures body mass. So, even if you have a normal BMI, this doesn’t actually mean that you cannot be considered overweight or obese. If you have high levels of body fat, you may be unhealthy even if your BMI is ideal. The researchers use the term "normal weight obesity" to describe this condition. So, to understand if your weight is healthy, you shouldn't rely too much on BMI. You should also measure your body fat percentage.