Body Mass Index (BMI) uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. It’s weight in kilograms (or pounds) divided by the square of height in meters (or feet). BMI screens for weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it cannot diagnose the body fatness or overall health of an individual.
Every time you visit a doctor, the healthcare professionals take your necessary vitals such as weight, height, and blood pressure. These evaluations can be used to measure your BMI (Body Mass Index). If you maintain a healthy weight and normal BMI, you can have fewer joint and muscle pains, high energy, normal blood pressure, reduced burden to your heart and circulatory system, better sleep, reductions in blood triglycerides, blood sugar, and less risk of lifestyle diseases.
Standard BMI Table for Adults
The BMI cut-off table for adults by the World Health Organization (WHO), Asia Pacific provides the BMI range for men and women age 20 or older. Asia Pacific Cut off is used for Indians.
Nutritional Status According to WHO Classification (Asia Pacific)
BMI Cut off According to WHO Classification
Normal Weight- 18.5-24.9
Pre Obesity- 25.0- 29.9
Obesity Class I- 30.0- 34.9
Obesity Class II- 35-39.9
Obesity Class III- Above 40
It is important to note that BMI is not a source of clinical guidance- it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool or measure. It is important to consider other influencing factors like muscle mass, body composition, and bone density when evaluating an individual’s overall health. Consult with a healthcare provider for a more thorough evaluation.
Health Risk for Underweight Individuals
Being underweight can indicate a person is not consuming enough nutrients, weakening the immune system, making it harder for the body to heal from injuries or illness and increasing the risk of infections and other health problems.
Being underweight can also be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as an eating disorder, hyperthyroid, or gastrointestinal issues, which can cause health problems such as malnutrition, dehydration, and fatigue.
It can increase the risk of complications during medical procedures and surgeries and affect fertility, bone density, and overall physical and mental health. Therefore, if you are underweight, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional to find the root cause and receive appropriate treatment. Get in touch with a qualified nutritionist for a weight gain diet plan.
Health risk linked with Overweight Individuals
Excess weight, especially obesity, impacts almost every aspect of health- from respiratory and reproductive function to memory and mood. It can increase the risk of several health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, joint problems, sleep apnea, liver disease, reproductive problems, mental health problems, and an increased risk of infectious diseases. Studies have shown that overweight and obese individuals have a higher risk of developing certain health conditions than individuals who maintain a healthy weight. Therefore, overweight individuals should work with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to develop a plan for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, including lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and a balanced, nutritious diet.
How to Calculate BMI
BMI stands for Body Mass Index is a measure of body fat based weight and height. If you want to calculate your BMI, use the BMI calculator by Steadfast Nutrition.
Here are the steps to calculate BMI:
1. Measure your weight in kilograms (kg). You can convert your weight in pounds (lbs) to kilograms by dividing weight by 2.205.
2. your height in meters (m). If you don't know your height in meters, you can convert your height in inches (in) to meters by dividing height by 39.37.
3. Square your height in meters (m) by multiplying it by itself. For example, if your height is 1.7 meters, you would square it by multiplying 1.7 x 1.7 = 2.89.
4. Divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height squared in meters (m^2). For example, if your weight is 70 kilograms and your height squared is 2.89, you would divide 70 by 2.89, which gives a BMI of 24.22.
So, the formula for calculating BMI is: BMI = weight (kg) / height2 (m2)
Once you have calculated your BMI, you can compare it to the standard BMI categories to determine if you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. The standard BMI Cut off is mentioned above.
Limitations of Body Mass Index
BMI is a widely used measure of body weight relative to height. While it is a convenient and easy-to-calculate metric, there are several limitations to its use. BMI does not account for body composition and does not differentiate between fat and muscle mass. As a result, individuals with high muscle mass may be classified as overweight or obese, despite having a low body fat percentage. Additionally, BMI cannot differentiate between subcutaneous fat (just below the skin) and visceral fat (around internal organs), which has been linked to health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This BMI Calculator is not for children and cannot assess body composition. Therefore, while BMI can be a useful to assess body weight, it should be used with other measures to obtain a more comprehensive picture of overall health.
Ways to Manage BMI
Today, there are many individuals under Underweight, Overweight, and Obese Classification, which puts them at risk of various health complications. If you are among these, it is crucial to put efforts towards managing your body mass index to live a healthy life.
Add a few healthy habits to your regular routine:
- Regular exercise
- A healthy diet
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding skipping Meals
- Cutting on alcohol and processed or packaged foods
Below, we discuss some steps you can take to reduce your BMI and attain a healthy and normal BMI range.
In a nutshell, your BMI gives a clear idea if your body weight is ideal at your height. BMI is one of the evaluations, but other measures such as waist circumference and skin-fold thickness can be useful. The bioelectrical impedance principle may be needed to assess body composition. Moreover, BMI should not be used as a diagnostic tool for health conditions. Certain steps should be taken to make sure you maintain normal BMI levels to stay fit and healthy, warding off the risk of lifestyle disorders. Consult a healthcare professional to get a complete evaluation of one's health status.