What Is Your BMI—Body Mass Index

We track the progress of clients in many ways at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT. BMI—body mass index—is one of those ways. Exactly what is BMI? It’s another way to measure the person’s overall fitness and provides more information on how much they should weigh. It uses the individual’s height and weight to make that determination and provide a numerical value.

Using height as part of the equation makes a difference and so does the gender of the individual.

If a person weighs 140-pounds, how tall that person is makes a huge difference whether the individual is overweight, perfect or underweight. You can calculate the BMI in both metric measures and imperial (pounds and inches). The easiest way is to use a chart. The formula used in America is the amount you weigh times 703, then divide that by height in inches squared. The number you arrive at indicates whether you’re underweight, at your right weight, overweight or obese.

What are the various classifications.

The number you arrive at when you calculate your BMI is a universal measure. People with a BMI of 18.5 or lower are considered underweight, whether they weigh 90-pounds or 130-pounds, since height is already part of the calculation. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered healthy. Those who have a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 are overweight and obesity is anyone with a BMI of 30.0 and above.

BMI is used to identify health issues, but it has flaws.

Normally, the higher your BMI, the more potential you have for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, certain types of cancer and breathing problems. That makes it a good way for doctors to use it as a quick way to identify overweight and underweight individuals. There are factors that aren’t considered, however. Bone structure plays a role, age, sex and how fat is distributed. If a person is muscular, they can be perfectly healthy and fit, but have a high BMI, which indicates being overweight or obese. That’s because muscle mass weighs more than fat per cubic inch.

  • We continue to use BMI because it’s a quick technique that identifies people who have weight problems 80 percent of the time. Physicians understand it and know its a good place to start.
  • BMI is also used because it’s easy compared to other alternatives. MRI scans or underwater weighing to calculate body volume, density and body fat give a clearer picture, but simply aren’t practical for everyone.
  • A technique that can be used with BMI to get a better picture is measuring abdominal obesity, which involves the waist circumference to hip ratio.Skinfold thickness is another method that can be used in the field and easily in a physician’s office.
  • Recently, relative fat mass index—RFM—that uses waist measurement to height has been found more accurate and just as easy. For women, the formula is 76 – (20 x height/waist circumference) and for men it’s 64- (20 x height/waist circumference).

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

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