When you go for a routine health checkup annually, does your doctor much bothered about your BMI count? Many doctors do, while some do not pay much attention to the BMI count.
In this post, we will discuss BMI and also its pros and cons. We will mention the results of certain research conducted in this field. All of this will give you a correct answer to your question of whether BMI is a reliable measure of your health.
What is meant by BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is effectively calculated using a person’s weight and height. This provides you with numerous proponents used to determine a person’s risk factors for developing chronic disease. Several medical & fitness professionals rely on BMI as a strong indicator of one’s overall health.
The idea of using BMI calculation was discovered in the year 1832. Adolphe Quetelet founded this. He was a renowned Belgian mathematician who liked to apply calculus and integrate the same into human physiology. So this was originally known as Quetelet Index. After several years in 1972, an American psychologist, Ancel Keys renamed the same formula as Body Mass Index.
How to calculate your overall BMI Score?
Though several online calculators exist, it is possible to figure out BMI manually. All you need to do is to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. If you prefer to use pounds, then divide the weight in pounds by your height in inches and then multiply the same by 703. This will provide you with the measurement of BMI.
A standard BMI chart looks like the following:
- 18.5 Or lesser – This indicates that your weight is less than normal and you need to gain body weight.
- 18.5 to 24.9 – This count indicates that you have a normal or healthy body weight.
- 25.0 to 29.9 – This result indicates that you have more weight than normal and you need to shed or lose weight.
- 20.0 to 34.9 – This count majorly indicates that you are overweight.
- 35.0 to 39.9 – This result indicates that you are already obese and categorized under obesity class II.
- 40.0 Or higher – This indicates that you are extremely obese and is categorized under obesity class III.
The Pros of BMI – The indicator of good health and body composition
The proponents of BMI indicate that an individual’s weight is related to one’s health. To talk more specifically, as the circumference of your waist increases, the increasing weight also increases the chances of developing several diseases. Obesity is related to several chronic medical conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes as well as several kinds of cancers. Developing obesity also increases your overall risk of suffering an early death.
So, if you have a normal BMI, you certainly have fewer chances of developing any of these medical conditions or health issues. Conversely, the chances of developing health issues are higher if you have a higher BMI. However, this is also true that a person’s weight is not the sole indicator of a person’s health.
The cons of BMI – What is BMI unable to indicate?
Imagine that you’re a doctor & you are looking at a patient’s chat before entering the exam room. In case, the patient’s height is 5.7 feet, and weight is 170 pounds. This will categorize the patient in the overweight segment. However, when the patient walks into your chamber, he may look incredibly fit. The patient may appear to be lean and have less fat in the body. So, under such circumstances, BMI incorrectly indicates one’s health condition. An individual who has built muscles are likely to have higher weight and are erroneously placed in the obese or overweight category. Under such circumstances, they have a relatively lower fat percentage in their body.
Read more: Cardio vs Strength Training: The best strategy for weight loss?
IS BMI a trusted indicator of your health?
If you consider it from a scientific point of view, BMI is surely connected to an individual’s overall health. This is just one part of the puzzle. However, the other pieces of the puzzle need to be considered to get a clear picture view.
Several studies that involve BMI place a lot of emphasis on obesity and the chances of developing diseases. This also majorly measures lean body mass. The same creates a lot of issues for individuals with a higher body weight due to more muscles and those who carry excessive weight due to fat.
Thus, obesity appears to be one of the biggest puzzles while determining the risk of diseases. Thus, utilizing methods that determine body fat percentage is a more rational approach. This is true when working with clients with an average amount of muscles.
The bottom line
After going through this post, you must be enlightened regarding the role of BMI as an indicator of your health. This is just one parameter; thus, the other parameters should not be ignored under any circumstances.