Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is My BMI?

When I ask my patients or clients what their height is, I get a quick response.  When I ask them their weight I get a hesitated response but I do get a number.  When I ask these same people what their body mass index (BMI) is I get blank stares of uncertainty.   BMI is a good and reliable screening instrument of body fat for people.  A reliable tool is one that actually measures what it is meant to measure.  BMI is calculated by comparing weight and height. 

To calculate your BMI you will need your weight in kilograms and your height in meters.  The equation is as follows:

BMI = weight (kg) / (height (m))2

I’ll give you a second to calculate that …



Ok, BMI ranges fall into these categories:
·         18.49 or less = underweight
·         18.5 to 24.99 = normal weight
·         25 to 29.99 = overweight
·         30 to 39.99 = obese
·         40 and higher = morbidly obese

Some disparities need to be noted.  “At the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men. At the same BMI, older people tend to have more body fat than younger adults.  Highly trained athletes may have a high BMI from increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.”1 

These numbers can serve as a good guideline for your overall health.  Those who have higher BMIs or are overweight are at higher risk for many health problems involving the joints, lungs, and heart.  If you found your BMI to be higher than you expected you should talk to your physician about a diet and exercise plan.  Exercise, such as the group fitness classes at Hayashida and Associates, has proven to lower BMI while improving overall health.  Do I smell a New Year’s Resolution?

1. Anthem Healthy Solutions - 2011 - Issue 01

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