June 17, 2011

Calculate Your BMI to Remain Healthy

calculate BMIThere are more than 800 Million obese people around the world who needs some assistance to lead their normal life. Obesity is widespread and has become an epidemic nowadays. It does not only look ugly to be obese but it is a predisposing factor for many diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart attack and coronary thrombosis. Earlier, we did not have a tool to measure how much obese is a patient. It is only in 1996 when Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian scholar in anthropometry developed a formula to calculate obesity. This was the beginning of BMI or Body Mass Index. BMI estimates total body weight in terms of height and gives us a ratio.

We have a misconception that BMI only measures body fat. It’s not true. As BMI needs your total body weight to produce a ratio, it cannot calculate the amount of fat alone. And there is no need to calculate the amount of fat alone to in any kind of weight reduction program. This is because you have to control the total body weight, not isolated fatty tissue.

The easiest measure to calculate BMI is your weight in Kilograms divided by square of your height in meter. In another calculation, measure your weight in ponds. Multiply it with the factor 703. Then divide it with square of your height represented in inches.

Ideal BMI is different in various ethnic groups, depending upon their ideal height. According to the classification of World Health Organization, a person will be diagnosed as severely underweight if the BMI is less than 16.5. He will be underweight if BMI is in between 16.5 to 18.5. Normal BMI is 18.5 to 25. He will be overweight if BMI is 25 to 30, class I obese 25-35, class II obese 35-40 and morbidly obese if BMI is more than 40.

Here is a pictorial representation of the BMI, both in pounds and kilogram:

You can take the print out of this picture and tabulate the BMI to get the status of your body weight.

Adult representation of BMI cannot be accepted in case of children. Although the calculation is pretty same as in case of adults, the BMI for children has to be compared to the normal BMI for that particular age group. Then it becomes a percentile calculation to the age and sex group.

Doctors are using BMI for diagnosis and estimating the prognosis of a patient. However, BMI has its own shortcomings. It cannot be relied upon in an athlete or elderly. As BMI is dependent on height and weight, it may erroneously calculate a high BMI for an athlete having more muscle bulk and low BMI for an elderly having less lean muscles.

How you can use BMI in reduction of your weight? First of all you have to get the ideal BMI. Take realistic steps like diet control and regular exercises to reduce weight. The target for losing weight should ideally be 500 grams to 1 kilo per week. And always consult your doctor before jumping into conclusion. Calculate your BMI ever week to see the difference.

Also you can calculate your BMI on your HealthyPerson.net home page.

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