Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimated body fat based on your body height and body weight. It doesn’t directly measure the body fat, but is used to approximate the fat present. BMI helps to determine whether a person’s weight is correct.
A high body mass index (BMI) is a sign of having too much fat in the body, while a low BMI is a sign of very little fat in the body.
The higher the BMI of a person, the higher the chances of getting some serious diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
A very low BMI is also harmful to health. For example, weakening of bones, immune system, as well as diseases like anemia may be possible.
BMI can be useful in screening problems that arise due to body weight.
However, it also has some limitations. BMI refers to a high body fat content in athletes and individuals who have a lot of meat.
Also, in older people and others who have reduced body fat, BMI sometimes gives incorrect results.
Relation Between Body Mass Index (BMI) and Health
According to America’s “National Institutes of Health”, In three adults two are considered overweight and one adult in three are considered obese. About 17% of children and adolescents (2 to 19 years) are obese.
People gain weight as a result of energy imbalance. The body needs a certain amount of energy created from food to function. He/she gets this energy in the form of calories.
Your weight is generally balanced when your body burns as many calories as you are consuming daily.
If you consume more calories than that of your body burns, then you will definitely gain weight.
An imbalance of energy is certainly responsible for weight gain. However, your ideal weight is determined primarily by heredity, as well as on the food you consume and the exercises you do.
If your body mass index (BMI) is high, its very important to reduce it to get a healthy weight.
High Body Mass Index Risks
Excess BMI can cause serious health conditions, such as —
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and kidney cancer are prominent
However, a new study suggests that instead of BMI, your body fat is related to the above mentioned health risks.
Low Body Mass Index Risks
Just as high body mass index (BMI) can cause health problems, similarly very low body mass index also leads to many health problems.
Lack of sufficient body fat can cause:
How to Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Depending on BMI, you can check whether your weight is normal or not.
Divide your weight by your height (in inches) to calculate your body mass index (BMI).
You can calculate your body mass index from this formula —
BMI = Weight (in kg) / Height (in meters)2
For example —
If your weight is 60 kg, height is 166 cm (1.66 m), then calculation will be —
60 ÷ (1.66)2 = 21.77
You can reduce and control your body fat and body weight by exercising at least 3 times every week.
You should also follow some eating habits, such as eat only when you are hungry and consume a balanced diet loaded with all essential nutrients.
If your BMI is low enough, discuss your weight with a health expert.
If necessary, they will advise you on what and how much exercise you should do to increase the amount of food you eat daily or to gain weight.
Dietitians can also help you to learn how to gain weight in a healthy way.