Understanding BMI/ Body mass Index-

What is body mass index?

BMI or Body mass index is n indicator which is used to determine a person’s healthy weight range for their height. It can also be considered alongside waist circumference to assess the amount of central fat. BMI however, has a limitation that it does not take into account age, ethnicity, gender and body composition.

Why is calculation of Body Mass Index important?

An increase or decrease in BMI can have a significant effect on physiology at the cellular level. It helps to track if a person is underweight, overweight, or obese.

Calculation of Body Mass Index

Body mass index is a statistical index. It  uses a person’s weight and height to provide an estimate of body fat. BMI can be calculated in males and females of any age, by taking a person’s weight, in kilograms, divided by their height, in meters squared, or BMI = weight (in kg)/ height^2 (in m^2). The number calculated is then the individual’s BMI number. However, it is important to remember that BMI is insufficient as the sole means of classifying a person as overweight, malnourished or obese. Example, in elite athletes and body-builders, an elevated BMI is related to their increased muscle mass and not to their health status, thus falsely increasing their BMI.

BMI range-

Classification of BMI as per WHO (World health Organisation) – Hispanic population

  • Severely underweight individuals – BMI less than 16.5kg/m^2
  • Underweight – BMI under 18.5 kg/m^2
  • Normal weight range – BMI greater than or equal to 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m^2
  • Overweight – BMI greater than or equal to 25 to 29.9 kg/m^2
  • Obesity – BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m^2

Asian and South Asian population:

  • overweight – BMI that ranges between 23 and 24.9 kg/m^2
  • obesity – BMI greater than 25 kg/m^2

Related Tests and screening procedures-

When individuals are identified as an abnormal weight, the following testing can be one-

  • A BMI greater than 30 kg/m2-  lipid, thyroid, diabetes screening.
  • A BMI less than 18 kg/m2: thyroid, metabolic panel, psychiatric screening for an eating disorder, and conditions of malabsorption should be done. For cases in which weight loss was rapid and unintentional, a cancer workup should also be done.
  • For patients who have a higher BMI, dietary interventions and exercise interventions should be started and followed upon on a daily basis.

Also read- https://vcurehealthcare.com/benefits-of-smoking-cessation-on-health/

Leave a Reply