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Kalyna Kapur

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10 Jan 1990
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Published on: 08 Feb 2017 by kalynakapur

Body Mass Index: All That You Should Know About It

Obesity is one of the most common health issues around the globe. So common that it has got a special globally accepted metric for itself. That’s true - obesity has its own metric,
which is known as Body Mass Index or BMI. You might already have
heard about this term, but if you don’t know what it is and why is it important
then you’ve come to the right place. In this article we’ll tell you everything
that you should know about BMI. We’ll look at the principle behind it, its
formula, accuracy, factors that influence it, risks that come with it and much
more than that.

Now since there’s a lot to cover, I’d like to get started without taking anymore time. Let’s begin:

The Principle and Formula

Body Mass Index, also known as Quetelet Index or BMI, is based upon a very simple principle. It’s based on the fact that since taller people tend to have more tissues than smaller people, their
body mass should also be more than that of smaller people. Based on this phenomenon,
it takes four factors of your physique into account: height, weight, age and gender.
The exact formula is given below:

BMI =  [weight (lbs)/height(in)2] x 703

There are various online calculators available that can help you calculate your BMI. More on that in a minute. But before that, let’s see the various categories in which BMI scores have been divided and what each of those categories represents:

1. A BMI score below 18.5 means that you’re underweight

2. Score in the range of 18.5 - 24.9 means normal

3. 25 - 29.9 means being overweight

4. And finally, a score above 30 means being obese, which is the riskiest situation.

Accuracy

BMI is globally accepted as a reliable standard of body mass measurement. However, you should keep in mind that it does NOT directly represent how much fat you actually have. It
just represents how your body mass stacks up against your height and overall
physique. For precise measurement of how much excess fat you have you should
combine its results with some other results as well. Example of such tests
include underwater weight measurement, skinfold thickness measurement and dual
energy x-ray absorptiometry. These tests combined with BMI can give you a very
accurate picture of how much extra fat you’ve.

Age and Gender Matters

The accuracy of BMI also depends on your age and gender. If you’re younger than 21, your age and gender must be taken into account while calculating your BMI. However, if you’re 21 or
older than they don’t matter. That’s why two separate online calculators have been
developed to help you determine your BMI accurately. If you’re younger than 21,
you should calculate your BMI with this calculator. On the other hand, if you’re 21 or older than you can calculate your BMI with this online calculator.

Why is It Important?

BMI is important because it’s a reliable signal of being obese. And what being obese can do to your
health has already been well documented in medical science. The risks of High
BMI includeType 2 diabetes, stroke, gallstones, heart diseases and in worst case even premature death. The relation of high BMI (more than 25) with these diseases has been analyzed
for years now.

Effect on Hormones

Another downside of having a high BMI is that it’s also related with hormonal imbalance. Yep - research has revealed that men with high BMI tend to have low mean testosterone levels. Same
applies to LH levels, prolactin and a number of other hormones as well. If you’re not
having a high BMI then you’re fine. But if your BMI is high or on the borderline of high, you should probably pay some attention to your endocrine system. There’s a very good chance that the increase in your BMI has come with
some hormonal issues.

Conclusion

In the end we can say that BMI is a globally accepted, reliable and accurate standard of obesity. You
should check your BMI on regular intervals to detect and avoid a number of health issues that often come with it.

I hope that information given above will help you in getting the most out of your
regular BMI monitoring. So if you’ve not checked your BMI until now or for a
long time, do that now and see where you stand. It won’t take more than a
minute.

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