BMI, the abbreviated form for Body Mass Index, is a medically accepted guide on deciding whether you are in the ideal range of weight corresponding to your height. It will also be helpful in knowing the amount of body fat you own which in turn will help you on taking action to alter them either with life style modifications or medication. According to some literature BMI is not a very accurate tool for determining the ideal body weight but it is obvious that this value can measure the risk or vulnerability of any individual to various diseases associated with obesity or under-weight.BMI, the abbreviated form for Body Mass Index, is a medically accepted guide on deciding whether you are in the ideal range of weight corresponding to your height. It will also be helpful in knowing the amount of body fat you own which in turn will help you on taking action to alter them either with life style modifications or medication. According to some literature BMI is not a very accurate tool for determining the ideal body weight but it is obvious that this value can measure the risk or vulnerability of any individual to various diseases associated with obesity or under-weight.

There are several websites which will help you to calculate the BMI within few seconds and all you need to know is your Height in meters or inches and weight in kilograms or pounds.

BMI= Weight (kg) / {Height (m) x Height (m)}
BMI= Weight (lb) x 703 / {Height (in) x Height (in)}

For adults 20 years and older:
BMI below 18.5   -Underweight.BMI 18.5 to 24.9 -In the healthy range.BMI 25 to 29.9    -Overweight.BMI 30 to 39.9    -Obese.BMI over 40        -Extreme or high risk obesity

BMI may not be the most accurate method to decide how much weight you need to gain or lose to attain the healthy range. In fact, if you own a higher amount of muscle mass or the other way round, it might give a faulty measurement.

– Body builders have a higher mass of body muscles more than fat so most of the time they have a higher BMI.
– In Elderly individuals it is always better to maintain a BMI of 25-27.
– Children- DO NOT use the normal BMI calculator for evaluating a child. It is mandatory to talk to your health care provider in knowing the range of weight ideal for your child’s age and height.

References:

  1. Garrow, J.S. & Webster, J., 1985. Quetelet’s index (W/H2) as a measure of fatness. Int. J. Obes., 9(2), pp.147–153.
  2. Freedman, D.S., Horlick, M. & Berenson, G.S., 2013. A comparison of the Slaughter skinfold-thickness equations and BMI in predicting body fatness and cardiovascular disease risk factor levels in children. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 98(6), pp.1417–24.
  3. Wohlfahrt-Veje, C. et al., 2014. Body fat throughout childhood in 2647 healthy Danish children: agreement of BMI, waist circumference, skinfolds with dual X-ray absorptiometry. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 68(6), pp.664–70.
  4. Steinberger, J. et al., 2005. Comparison of body fatness measurements by BMI and skinfolds vs dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and their relation to cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents. Int. J. Obes., 29(11), pp.1346–1352.
  5. Willett, K. et al., 2006. Comparison of bioelectrical impedance and BMI in predicting obesity-related medical conditions. Obes. (Silver Spring), 14(3), pp.480–490.