What is BMI? How to Calculate BMI?

Have you ever found yourself weighing up the pros and cons of losing weight? Maybe your friends are asking you to join a gym, and you don’t know why. Maybe you’re struggling to lose weight because you don’t understand what it means to be underweight or overweight. Well, this guide will help clear up any confusion you have about BMI and its importance.

What is BMI?

Body mass index or BMI can be defined as a statistic calculated from an individual’s height and weight. The value of BMI is calculated by dividing the individual’s current mass of the body by the square value of the person’s body height amount and is given in kilos per square metre unit (kg/m2).

A chart or table that presents BMI as a combination of height and mass using different contour lines or different colours for various BMI groups, utilising other measurement units, can be used to calculate BMI.

Depending on the tissue mass (bone, fat, and muscle) and body height, calculating BMI is a simple rule of thumb employed to classify an individual as underweight, average weight, overweight, or obese.

Underweight (less than 18.5 kg/m2), moderate weight (18.5 kg/m2 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25 kg/m2 to 29.9 kg/m2), and obese (more than 30 kg/m2) are the four major grownups BMI classifications. If used to forecast a person’s physical well-being instead of a statistical evaluation for individuals, the calculation of BMI has limits that make it less effective than other alternatives, particularly when used on persons with excessive abdominal obesity, low height, or extremely high muscle mass. However, BMIs less than 20 kg/m2 and greater than 25 kg/m2 have been linked to increased all-cause mortality, along with the risk rising as one moves away from the 20-25 kg/m2 level.

What is the Importance of BMI?

A lower body mass index indicates that you may be malnourished. Perhaps your body isn’t digesting nutrients effectively, or you’re simply not receiving enough energy to keep up with your level of physical activity. A high BMI, on the other hand, signals to your doctor that you are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some malignancies than someone who has a regular BMI. Your physician may refer you to a licenced dietician who may assist you in regaining control of your weight as well as lowering your chances of acquiring health concerns.

Issues with BMI

Although BMI is a good beginning point for assessing your fitness, it is not perfect. For instance, it does not take gender into consideration, and women have higher body fat percentages than males. As a result, even if your BMI is in the range of normal, you may have a high proportion of excess fat in your body as a woman. This formula also disregards muscular mass. Because muscle weighs higher than body fat, if you hit the gym and have developed muscles, your BMI may be higher even if you aren’t overweight. This assessment also does not take into consideration hereditary characteristics, bone mass, or exercise level, nor does it address the fact that slimness does not always imply health.

Does Health Insurance Cover Depend on BMI?

Since it represents your degree of exercise and general well-being, your BMI affects your health insurance premiums. Your insurance prices will be higher or cheaper depending if your BMI is greater or lower.

This really is due to the fact that possessing a high BMI value puts you in danger of getting cardiovascular disease and raises the possibility of needing to visit the hospital for issues caused by your current weight. Again, a lower BMI may also be indicative of an undiagnosed medical issue.

As per health insurance companies, having an abnormally low or high BMI value may result in more hospital stays. This will result in greater medical expenditures for the insurance company. As a result, based on your BM value, your health insurance premium could be higher or cheaper.

However, you should be mindful that these statistics are only a proxy for your overall health. These are not, however, definitive and binding. An athlete or an individual who is exceptionally fit, for example, may have a higher BMI value. They cannot be classified as overweight or obese since the extra weight in this circumstance might be due to muscle mass.

Although BMI is a useful indicator, it is simply one of the numerous factors that influence your well-being.

How to Calculate BMI?

Here is the formula to calculate BMI values:

  • BMI = A/B2
  • Where,
  • A = your weight in kg
  • B = your height in meters

So, if your height is 1.67 meters and your current body weight is 67kg, the value of your BMI will be = 67/(1.67)2 = 67/2.79 = 24.01 kg/m2

After you get your BMI value, you can check from the below table to understand if it’s comparatively high or low:

                              VALUE OF BMI                           CATEGORY OF WEIGHT
>18.5 kg/m2
18.5 kg/m2 – 24.9 kg/m2
Normal weight
25 kg/m2 – 29.9 kg/m2
30 kg/m2 or higher

The Bottom Line

In the end, weight is a fairly subjective measurement. There is no “one size fits all” formula for it. However, I hope that this guide has helped to clear up any misconceptions you may have had about extremely low or high body weights. If you’re concerned about your own BMI, remember: it’s better to be safe than sorry. A local doctor can measure your BMI at your convenience.

BMI is one of many tools that can be used to determine if someone is healthy. It’s not perfect, but it also doesn’t claim to be. If you are concerned about your weight or BMI, consult with a doctor or dietitian. They’ll better be able to help assess your own situation and make recommendations accordingly.


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