One of the most popular ways to find out if you are at an ideal weight is by learning what your BMI is, otherwise known as a Body Mass Index.
The BMI is a number calculated from your weight and height, which will tell you if you are obese, overweight, underweight or perfectly fine. The category obese is further divided into three categories.
In body mass index formula theory is that the higher your BMI, the higher the chance you have of weight-related illnesses including Type-2 diabetes, breathing problems, certain cancers, and more.
Understanding your weight is the first step in controlling it and getting it into a healthy range to avoid weight problems.
The NHS uses BMI to assess risk in adults. BMI is also used by the World Health Organization to calculate obesity. Each category has a different range to help categorise people to know whether you are in a healthy range or not.
How to Calculate your BMI
In metric units, you will take your total mass in kilograms and divide that by your height in meters, squared.
BMI= mass in kilograms / (height in metres)2
There are also many BMI weighing scales that can be purchased that have the function to calculate your BMI simply by standing on it, much like a standard household scale.
Upon doing the calculations, simply take a look and see where your number appears on the BMI Scales.
If your BMI is below 18.5, then you fall into the underweight category. This can be just as serious as being obese because you could be missing key components of nutrition in your diet. Consult with a doctor to learn if you should gain weight to avoid problems, such as potential bone loss and reduced immune system functions.
You are considered of a normal weight for your height if your BMI Scales are between 18.5 and 25. People who are of normal weight typically live longer lives and have a lower risk for serious illness. Further, this range of BMI is considered more attractive than those of a higher or lower number.
If the BMI scale is between 25 and 30, then you are overweight. You can benefit from lowering your weight to a healthier range through diet and exercise. At this BMI, you can start to experience health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes.
Obesity is classified as a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. Further, if you have a BMI of 40 or higher, then you fall into Class III, which is morbidly obese. This is when a doctor needs to be consulted immediately as the weight has gotten to the point that it will result in weight-related disease and could result in premature death.
There are some caveats to BMI. If you are below the age of 18, the formulas will not be accurate because your body is still growing and maturing. If you are above the age of 65, similarly it will not work as accurately because of lost muscle mass. Also, if you are an athlete or body builder, the BMI will be inaccurate because muscles are heavy and will skew the calculation. For everyone else, however, BMI is a very accurate, very important tool for determining the proper weight that will keep you and your body healthy.
Calculating your BMI and understanding your score is very important for your continued livelihood. Anything other than a normal weight Body Mass Index range means that you should consult a doctor and work with your diet for either increasing or decreasing your caloric intake, as well as an exercise routine.