Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What is BMI? and how to read it?

Body Mass Index (BMI): is an index of a person’s weight in ratio to height; determined by dividing the weight (in kilograms) by the square of the height (in meters), or by dividing the weight (in pounds) by height (in inches) multiplied by 703.


BMI has been a very useful tool in estimating body fatness, and reflecting disease risks; especially that; it is easy to use, inexpensive and doesn’t require complicated tools to get it. A lot of studies showed strong correlation between BMI value higher than 25 and increased risk of obesity-related health problems.

This table shows the BMI values and corresponding classification:

BMI kg/m²





Normal weight




Class 1 obesity


Class 2 obesity


Extreme obesity


It is important to point that BMI is an indicator, it doesn't consider body composition like bone density or muscle mass, nor the distribution of them throughout the body, for example: highly trained athletes may have high BMIs because of increased muscularity so they are not to be considered overweight or obese.

Use the BMI calculator to calculate your body mass index.

So what does each of the BMI categories indicate?

  •  Underweight (BMI: <18.5)

BMI slightly under 18.5 could be acceptable from health point of view if there is adequate intake, otherwise; underweight has been related –in different severity from person to person-  to:

-  Signs of illness, poor reproductive ability, reduced work capacity, quick fatigue, poorer immunity, muscle wasting.

-  Menstrual irregularity for women.

If your BMI result is underweight and you would like to gain some weight whether to boost up your health or improve your appearance –since a minimum amount of body fat is required for sexier and more beautiful body curves especially for women- go to Strategies for healthy weight gain to guide you into nutrition and exercise plan.



  •  Normal weight (BMI: 18.5-24.9)

Normal or healthy BMI result means that your weight in considered normal for your height, good for you because that means lower health and disease risks, but be aware that BMI doesn’t give you an indication of body composition, so although you have normal BMI you could be having more fat percent than normal (i.e.: thin from outside, obese from inside), that’s why other measurements are need for more assessment.

See body fat calculator and lean body mass calculator for more insights about your body.



  •  Overweight (BMI: 25-29.9)

Over weight is associated with increased risk of:

-  Diabetes.

-  Hypertension.

-  Cardiovascular diseases.

-  Sleep apnea ( abnormal breathing during sleep)

-  Some types of cancer

-  Higher chance of reaching obesity, among other health issues

-  Low self-steam and self-acceptance

If your BMI result says you are overweight you need to pay attention to your eating and activity life-style patterns, the good news is that you are aware of it, and it’s not too late to make action, go to Build your sustainable &amp; durable weight loss plan to help you out.



  • Obesity (BMI: >30)

Obesity is far more alerting to health than over weight is, all the health risks mentioned above in overweight are amplified in obesity and far more serious plus more risks like: joint problems, breathing difficulties, infertility among others.

Obesity is divided into sub-groups (class 1, class 2 & extreme obesity) since obese individual with BMI of 30 is not at the same risks as an individual with BMI of 40 for example.

If your BMI result says you are overweight you need to seriously think about what you are jeopardizing here, not only your health, but your life quality too, to take action go to how to use fitnessyard tools to start your life-changing journey. 

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Categories: General Health TopicsNumber of views: 10553

Tags: fitness and healthBMIbody mass index


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