BMI is widely used today in healthcare settings to flag potential weight-related health issues or track the chances of obesity. bmi calculator for That said, BMI is only a rough guide. There are multiple alternatives to BMI for providing reliable information on how much body fat you are carrying.
Introduction to the Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index or BMI is a body size measurement concerning your weight and height. It is more of an indicator to determine if the weight is healthy and compatible for a particular height. In simple terms, your BMI range estimates your total body fat based on overall weight and height.
The higher your BMI, the more overweight you are. However, BMI fails to tell if your overall weight is water, muscle, or fat. Therefore, you cannot consider it a diagnostic tool for body fat percentage. Despite being used since the 1840s, the concept of Body Mass Index has some drawbacks. The first problem is that BMI as a measure is not representative of all demographics. It considered data involving Europeans to determine the range.
Demography plays a role in determining optimum body weight. Also, it does not consider body fat percentage, muscle mass, or body fat distribution, which produces an inaccurate BMI reading. BMI measure cannot distinguish between fat and muscle. Since muscle tissue is more dense than fat, the density and distribution do not reflect in BMI calculation.
For example, the high BMI reading of weight trainers and athletes show as overweight or obese, even when they’re not. Thus, muscular people can be of healthy weight even though their BMI range falls in the obese category.
Another problem is that it doesn’t take into account gender differences. As a result, men and women can have the same BMI readings but different fat percentages.
BMI Formula – How to Calculate BMI?
The body mass index is a simple and inexpensive calculation method using your height and weight. BMI calculators are available online, which give you instant results after entering your age, weight, height, and sometimes, gender. However, BMI can get manually calculated with the help of a mathematical formula.
As per the formula, you get BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres. Or the mathematical equation terms are as follows;
If your BMI is under 18.5, you’re considered underweight. It indicates a high risk of malnutrition. People within this BMI range must put on weight to avoid further health complications.
A BMI value between 18.5 to 24.9 indicates that you’re in the healthy weight range. For most adults, it is the ideal BMI.
A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is the overweight range. To put it simply, the higher spectrum of the range indicates nearing obesity.
If your BMI is 30 or more than 30, it shows that you’re in the obese range. It makes you more prone to multiple health problems like heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
BMI Measurement and Weight Category
Below 18.5: Underweight
18.5 to 24.9: Healthy or Normal
25 to 29.9: Overweight
Above 30: Obese
For most people, the ideal BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9. There are, indeed, healthy individuals with BMI values in the 25 to 29 range. On the other hand, if you’re athletic, it is likely to have a BMI score greater than 25 due to greater muscle mass.
In addition, BMI can categorise you as overweight or obesity, even when you’re in better shape. Therefore, most health experts recommend a BMI at or above 18.5 as ideal.