BMI refers to the Body Mass Index, which is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height that can be a somewhat reliable indicator of body fat for most people. While BMI does not measure body fat directly, the research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat. BMI is an inexpensive and easy to measure method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
While BMI can not directly indicate a health problem it is a good tool to serve as an indicator to a potential health problem. If someone has a high BMI, further tests should be performed to further determine whether or not their is an actual health risk that needs correction. Further tests can include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.
How is BMI Calculated
The Formula is: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703.
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 180 lbs, Height = 6’0″ (72″)
Calculation: [180 ÷ (72)2] x 703 = 24.41
The following chart illustrates how to score BMI results and what each number means in regards to overall health from a Body Mass Index perspective.
Risks for a High BMI
If you calculate your BMI and it tells you that you are overweight or even obese, you should be aware that you are potentially at increased risk for a variety of conditions including:
.Type 2 diabetes
.Coronary heart disease
.Sleep apnea and respiratory problems