Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index is an accurate indicator of surplus body fat than kilos or pounds. It is a mathematical ratio of height to weight that can be linked with body composition (or body fat percentage) and with indices of health risk.
Calculating BMI is as follows:
BMI = Weight (in kg) or BMI = Weight (in lbs) x 700
Height (in m)2 Height (in inches)2
For example, the calculation for someone weighing 80 kg (176 lbs) and 1.60 m (63 in) tall is:
BMI = 80 = 31.2 or BMI = 176 x 700 = 31.1
The important thing here is :
BMI can be calculated either in imperial or metric.
weight in kilograms and height must be in meters.
Or weight in pounds and height must be in inches.
People with a BMI of 25.1 to 29.9 are considered overweight, and people with a BMI of 30 or above are considered obese.
Thus, from the example above, a person weighing 80 kg and is 1.60 m tall is considered obese. A high BMI assumes a higher percentage of body fat, which places a person at greater risk for developing chronic diseases and other serious illnesses.
BMI Weight Category
Under 19 Underweight
20-25 Normal (Healthy)
30 above Obese
However for someone with an athletic body or weight training program, this is not always strictly accurate.Muscle is heavier than fat so a person with low body fat and above average lean muscle mass could be labelled as overweight but actually enjoy good health.
Likewise, thin individuals who have a low body weight with very little muscle and a higher percentage of fat may have a normal BMI, which would be an poor indication of healthiness.
According to some studies, almost 70 percent of heart disease cases in the United States are linked to excess body fat, and obese people are more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure.
Obese women are at nearly twice the risk for developing breast cancer, and all obese people have an estimated 42 percent higher chance of developing colon cancer. Almost 80 percent of patients with Type 2, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus are obese.
The risk of medical complications, particularly heart disease, increases when body fat is distributed around the waist, especially in the abdomen. This type of upper body fat distribution is more common in men than in women.
For example, a man with a waist measurement of 37 inches and more has increased risk of long term health problems such as those described above. Why not take action today to avoid preventable illness and premature aging.
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