Knowing your BMI is a simple way to check if your weight is healthy.
While there are caveats associated with the BMI index – in particular, muscle mass – aiming to be within the healthy BMI range for your height gives people a realistic and achievable body weight goal.
In this article, Dr. Farber explains what BMI is and the adverse health effects associated with being either underweight or overweight, then gives a simple method for calculating your BMI. Once you know your BMI, you can then reference the chart included to see where you lie on the BMI scale.
What Is BMI?
BMI stands for body mass index. It is a number ranging from 12 to 40+, calculated using your weight relative to your height.
There are five different BMI categories:
- Underweight (BMI of 12 to 18)
- Healthy (BMI of 19 to 24)
- Overweight (BMI of 25 to 29)
- Obese (BMI of 30 to 39)
- Extremely obese (BMI of 40+)
BMI gives people a general guide as to how much they should weigh according to their height.
Consequences of Being Under- and Overweight
Numerous health effects are associated with being either too light or too heavy.
Underweight individuals often run the risk of being deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. This condition leads to malnutrition, which can manifest in any number of health issues such as weak bones, poor hair and tooth health, poor immune system function, and, in extreme cases, stunted growth.
Being overweight, on the other hand, puts undue stress on the heart and significantly increases the chances of having a stroke. Type II diabetes, joint and ligament disorders, and even cancers all link with being overweight.
As such, aiming for a body weight within the healthy BMI range for your height is one of the best things people can do for their overall health.
How to Calculate Your BMI
We calculate BMI with the following metric equation: BMI=kg/m2.
In this equation, kg is your weight in kilograms, and m2 is your height in meters squared.
We’ll demonstrate an example BMI calculation with a theoretical adult female who is 1.55 meters tall and weighs 55 kilograms.
We then reference the chart below to see which category our BMI falls into.
Chart via scouterlife.com
Using BMI to Guide Your Weight
While BMI is a useful guide to a healthy weight range, remember that it’s only a general rule of thumb. If people consistently follow a balanced diet and engage in moderate exercise three to four times a week, they will likely fall within the healthy to lower ranges of overweight BMI.
BMI is also a good indicator of how much fat a surgeon can remove using liposuction. While it’s not a weight-management solution, liposuction surgery can safely remove around 10 pounds of body fat to help patients towards the physiques they desire.
If you desire a trimmer, more toned physique, or advice on nutrition and exercise in the Boca Raton, Florida, area, reach out to Dr. Scott Farber at (561)-503-2700 or fill out our online form to arrange your consultation.