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How widely used is body mass index?

Body mass index, often referred to as BMI, is a measurement designed to estimate a healthy body weight based on a person’s height. To find BMI, divide weight (in kilograms) by height (in meters squared). The risk of obesity-related diseases begins to increase if the BMI is 25 and becomes a severe risk if the BMI is greater than 35. BMI is one of the most widely used measurements for obesity risk assessment due to ease of calculation and minimal user error. The equation is a simple calculation based on numbers which should not fluctuate much between two different people reading them. Weight will be the same no matter who weighs you and the same goes for height- assuming the measuring devices are accurately calibrated. The accuracy of BMI is questionable if the person who the BMI is being calculated for contains a large amount of muscle mass because the measurement does not differentiate between muscle mass and fat mass.

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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.