Does a normal body mass index (BMI) mean that I am healthy?

Not necessarily.  A normal BMI may mean that you are not classified as overweight or obese but does not mean that your body fat percentage is not within the range of overweight or obese.  Other factors include if you smoke or drink, if you consume a diet high in fat and sugar, and if you are active or not.  Your main focus should be to control your weight by not smoking or drinking, eating well balanced meals, and exercising regularly.

Wendy Batts

Several different factors contribute to your overall health. BMI is simply one measure of your health as it relates to your body weight. Reliance on BMI alone is not a good measure of your current health status. In short, if you are healthy, your BMI will probably be normal; but a normal BMI doesn’t always mean you are healthy. Plenty of other measures of health such as physical activity (or lack thereof), waist circumference, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, etc are all to be considered when assessing your overall health. Your best bet is to get regular physical exams through your health care provider.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is not a comprehensive assessment of overall health. It merely is a number calculated from a person’s height and weight. BMI can provide information related to how much body fat a person is holding relative to their frame. There are many other factors of health including but not limited to; strength, flexibility, blood pressure, resting heart rate, cardiorespiratory fitness, mental health, blood lipid profile and blood sugar levels.  A healthy BMI reading does not guarantee any of these things however a higher risk BMI score (30 and higher higher) can be associated with health risks.  Some of the diseases and health conditions related to a higher BMI according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are; Hypertension, Dyslipidemia ,Type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, Stroke, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep apnea and respiratory problems, endometrial, breast, and colon cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.