Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index, or BMI is the customary method used to measure obesity. It's a calculation of your weight-to-height ratio and can provide insight into risk for diseases. It's been shown that for every five-point increase in BMI, your risk of death increases 31% and while BMI can't be used as a sole indicator for disease risk, it does help. It's one element of your wellness that helps you and your doctors manage your health.

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    A Fitness, answered on behalf of
    The BMI (Body Mass Index) is a mathematical formula that factors a person’s height and weight in determining obesity. It may be less accurate for athletes or older persons who have lost muscle mass.
    BMI, what does it mean?

    Weight               BMI
    Underweight       Below 18.5
    Normal              18.5 - 24.9
    Overweight         25.0 - 29.9
    Obesity             30.0 and Above

    You can use the tool below to calculate your BMI

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bmi-calculator/NU00597
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    Lean body mass is more “metabolically active” than fat, meaning that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.  Two individuals that are the same height and weight can have very different metabolic rates, based on their body composition.  Lean body mass is one factor that we can control in order to increase our metabolism and burn more calories!
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    Body mass index only evaluates an individual’s height and weight.  Body composition evaluates the breakdown of fat and fat free mass, giving a better estimate of fitness level and health risk. 
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.

    It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat.

    After determining the BMI, the next step is to measure waist circumference. It is important to know your waist circumference because the health risks of overweight and obesity are independently associated with excess abdominal fat. Excess abdominal fat is clinically defined as a waist circumference >40 inches in men and >35 inches in women. Studies have shown that people with excess abdominal fat have an excess burden of impaired health and increased cardiovascular risk compared to those with normal waist circumferences. Although the mechanisms by which abdominal and/or visceral obesity lead to increased morbidity and mortality are not fully understood, identification of excess abdominal fat is paramount because it categorically increases disease risk for each BMI class.
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    With every lump of blubber, you shorten your life, according to the National Institutes of Health. Their study found that your risk of death increases 31% with every five-point increase in body mass index (BMI). Here are the NIH's exact calculations, according to the New England Journal of Medicine:
    • A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%.
    • A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%.
    • A BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%.
    • A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%.
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    No, the body mass index (BMI) is just one indicator of possible health risks associated with being overweight or obese.  To assess your likelihood of being overweight or obese, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines recommend looking at two other predictors:  the individual's waist circumference (because abdominal fat is a predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases) and other risk factors the individual has for diseases and conditions associated with obesity (for example, high blood pressure or physical inactivity). 
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    Body mass index looks at two things height and weight.  Since we can not change your height we need to look at decreasing your weight!  So the real question is how do we decrease your weight to lower your BMI.  You need to burn more calories than you take in to create weight loss.  Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity most days of the week, reduce poor food choices (soda, candy etc) and drink plenty of water. This will be a great start to reducing your BMI. 
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    A answered
    Pounds aren't the only way to gauge health, so if you're using the bathroom scale to check your weight, here are other, more accurate ways:
    • Body mass index (BMI): You can get an estimate of your body fat based on calculations of your height and weight.
    • Waist circumference: Anything more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. To measure your waist circumference, find the area between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone. Place a measuring tape on bare skin and wrap it around the narrowest part. The tape should be snug, but not constricting.
    • Waist-to-hip ratio: This measurement takes into account the proportions of your body by comparing your waist and hip circumferences.

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      BMI is used internationally and the scale is the same for all.  However, this scale may not be as beneficial to some cultures depending on their lifestyles and nutritional habits.

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      A , Orthopedic Surgery, answered

      Physicians traditionally used body mass index (BMI) as a way to assess a person's risk for disease. The problem with this measurement alone is that it does not account for the very lean person who weighs more per inch than a fat person since muscle weighs more than fat. A more accurate way to determine health risk is to combine your BMI measurement with your waist circumference measurement (remember, it matters where the fat is stored). Ideally, men's waists should be less than 40 inches and women's less than 35.