What is BMI and how do we use it
Diva - 30 Dec 21
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can indicate high body fatness. BMI screens for weight categories that may lead to health problems in the future, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of a person’s weight with respect to his or her height. It is more of an indicator than a direct measurement of a person’s total body fat.
BMI calculationBMI in an individual person is calculated by the use of a mathematical formula. It can also be estimated using tables in which one can match height in meters to weight in kilograms to estimate the individuals Body Mass Index. The formula is - BMI = (Weight in kilograms) divided by (Height in metres squared)A normal BMI score is one that falls between 18.5 and 24.9. This indicates that a person is within the normal weight range for his or her height. A BMI chart is used to categorise a person as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.
|Body Mass Index (BMI)||Weight Status|
|18.5 - 24.9||Normal|
|25.0 - 29.9||Overweight|
BMI is an indicator of total body fat in many individuals. Thus it is considered as an indicator of health risk.
Those with a high BMI are at risk of the following:
- high blood pressure
- cholesterol or other lipid disorders
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- certain cancers
- gallbladder disease
- sleep apnea and snoring
- premature death
- osteoarthritis and joint disease
- Hormonal imbalances such as leptin and ghrelin levels, insulin production etc.
Is BMI applicable for all?
Being Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer and while it was once an issue only in high income countries, overweight and obesity has now dramatically risen in low- and middle-income countries.
Obesity really is serious. One of the main reasons are because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and a reduced quality of life.
Whilst the more devastating issue regarding obesity is the fact that it is the leading cause of death in most countries in our day and age.
One of the main factors we would like to include here are some helpful hints like BMI and how to calculate if it will be required for you to make some changes to your lifestyle.
Healthy behaviours are advised and for that we would recommend including a regular physical activity regimen and healthy eating. The key is to Balance the number of calories consumed from foods and beverages with the number of calories the body uses for activity. The average needed to start making a difference to your BMI would be at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking. In addition, you will need to do activities that strengthen your muscles at least 2 days a week.
A healthy meal plan would consist of the following:
Creating a pattern of healthy eating and regular physical activity is very important for long-term health benefits and the prevention of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Obesity results from the energy imbalance that occurs when a person consumes more calories than their body burns. Obesity is a serious public health problem. Yes ladies and gents - we get it, we really do! There are certain factors that need to be taken in consideration when we talk about the leading concerns and causes regarding obesity. There are factors we need to include such as:
Behaviour: Your behaviour in your environment, at work and at home.
Genetics:Do my Genes Have a Role in Obesity?Genetic changes in human populations occur too slowly to be responsible for the obesity epidemic that is happening in our world. Nevertheless, how people respond to an environment that promotes physical inactivity and intake of high-calorie foods suggests that genes do play a role in developing obesity.
How does Genes Have a Role in Obesity?In recent decades, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in populations whose environments promote physical inactivity and increased consumption of high-calorie foods. The good news is, not all people living in such environments will become obese, nor will all obese people have the same body fat distribution or suffer the same health problems. These differences can be seen in groups of people with the same racial or ethnic background and even within families.
How Could My Genes Actually Influence Obesity?
Rarely, a clear pattern of inherited obesity within a family is caused by a specific variant of a single gene (monogenic obesity). Most obesity, results from complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors that remain poorly understood (multifactorial obesity).
Other studies have compared obese and non-obese people for variation in genes that could influence behaviours (such as a drive to overeat when you are out at a restaurant or sitting on your couch, or a tendency to be sedentary) or the metabolism (such as the diminished capacity to use dietary fats as fuel, or an increased tendency to store body fat). These studies that have been done have identified variants in several genes.
What about my Family History?Health care practitioners routinely collect family health history to help identify people at high risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some forms of cancer. Your Family health history reflects the effects of shared genetics and environments among close relatives.
Families cannot change their genes, but they can encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity. Those changes can most definitely improve the health of your family members—and improve the health history of the next generation.
Diseases and DrugsSome illnesses may lead to obesity or weight gain. These may include Cushing’s syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may also cause weight gain. Research continues on the role of other factors in energy balance and weight gain such as chemical exposures and the role of the microbiome.
A health care provider can help you learn more about your health habits and history to identify whether behaviours, illnesses, medications, and/or psychological factors are contributing to weight gain or making your weight loss journey difficult.
Health ConsequencesPeople who have obesity, compared to those with a healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions and All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Low quality of life
- Many types of cancers
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
Economic and Societal Consequences
We hope we have given a clear image of BMI, what it is used for and how to calculate it correctly to establish if you fall under a normal weight range or classify as obese or being over weight.