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Why is it important to know my body mass index?

BMI is used for risk assessment for the general population. Generally speaking, as a person's BMI increases, so does his or her risk of certain diseases. However, BMI does not distinguish between body fat and lean body mass and does not take into account location of body fat. For this reason, it's not an accurate measure of health for certain populations, such as people with higher than average muscle mass or people whose body composition may be skewed for other reasons.

Note: BMI is not an appropriate measure for athletes, children, pregnant women, or the elderly.

Wendy Batts
Fitness
Your BMI is often used by the medical community and health agencies to assess one’s risk for weight related diseases. BMI can give you an idea of your individual risk by placing you in a particular weight category. It is not the only risk indication tool out there but it is easy to perform and can be a great start in assessing risk. The BMI weight categories are based on the relationship between body weight and disease.

It is difficult to improve what we cannot measure; and BMI an additional number that we can use to measure our progress.
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness
BMI is a measure of your general health and is based on your height and weight ratio. If your BMI is high, you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases including:
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol and blood lipids (LDL)
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • sleep apnea
  • osteoarthritis
  • female infertility
  • gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • urinary stress incontinence

The following is a chart of BMI ranges:  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.pdf

The following is a BMI calculator: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bmi-calculator/NU00597

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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.