Written by Frank Tucker

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a quick and easy way to determine if your weight is appropriate for your height. This index of a person’s weight is with respect to his height and not the body composition. It is a useful way of seeing whether or not a person is overweight or obese. The Body Mass Index calculator helps in identifying weight problems in a given population or individual. The calculation for BMI was invented by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian Mathematician born in 1796. Today, Quertet Index is known as Body Mass Index. A healthy BMI for an adult is between 20 and 25.

BMI values apply to both men and women, regardless of their age, frame size or muscle mass. BMI measures percentage of fat among ratios of height and weight. It is used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. The health risks associated with increasing BMI are continuous and the interpretation of BMI grading in relation to risk may differ for different populations.

Knowing your body mass index can help you maintain a healthy weight. A normal BMI reduces risk for a number of health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart diseases, and type two diabetes.

How it is calculated?

BMI is calculated by taking a person’s weight and dividing by their height squared. The Body Mass Index can be calculated using either metric or imperial measures.

Metric Units- (Kg and Metres)- Weight in Kg/ (Height in meters) * (Height in meters)
Imperial Units- Pounds(lb) and inches- Weight in Pounds * 703/ (Height in inches) * (Height in inches)

According to your BMI, the indications are as follows:
-If your BMI is less than 18.5, then you are underweight
-If your BMI is in between 18.5 to 22.9, then it is normal
-If your BMI is in the range of 23 to 24.9, then it is considered overweight
-If your BMI is 25 or above, it falls in the category of obese.

In case of children, the BMI is measured in a different way. It is measured in percentile. If the BMI is less than 5th percentile, the child is underweight. If it is in between 5th to 84th, then it is considered healthy weight; If it is greater than or equal to 85th but less than 95th, then it is overweight. The child is obese if his BMI is greater or equal to 95th percentile.

Limitations

The BMI is a handy tool, but it is not right for everyone. The value of BMI does not apply to athletes, body builders, pregnant and nursing women, elderly people or people below the age of 18 who have not reached their full growth. The BMI does not differentiate between body fat or muscle mass. BMI also does not tell you precisely how much body fat you have and where it is located.

This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This blog is for information purpose only.  As always, please consult your healthcare provider if you have any health concerns and certainly before starting a treatment program.