What does your body mass index say about you?

Weight management is a struggle for many people but once controlled there are many benefits derived from these results.

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a simple formula using a person’s height and weight to calculate a number which is supposedly representative of their level of body fat.

The formula itself is:

  • Weight (kg) / Height (m)2


  • (Weight (lbs) * 703) / Height (in)2
BMI (kg/m2  ) Classification
Below 18.5 underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.9-29.9 Overweight
30or higher obese


Body Mass Index (BMI) provides an easy way to measure obesity, but more doctors are questioning its accuracy and usefulness.

If someone is an athlete with a large muscles and defined musculature then BMI may not be the right for you other methods like the skin fold measures or bioelectrical impedance may be of value to measure your BMI

But in recent years, more researchers argue that it’s not the most accurate way to measure body weight. For years, scientists have said that BMI can’t distinguish between fat and muscle, which tends to be heavier and can tip more toned individuals into overweight status, even if their fat levels are low. In the journal Science, the latest data from University of Pennsylvania shows that BMI also doesn’t take apart different types of fats, each of which can have different metabolic effects on health. BMI cannot take into consideration, for example, where the body holds fat. Belly fat, which is known as visceral fat, is more harmful than fat that simply sitting under the skin. Visceral fat develops deep among muscles and around organs like the liver and by releasing certain hormones and other agents, it disrupts the body’s ability to balance its energy needs. Even relatively thin people can have high levels of visceral fat, which means they might be considered healthy by BMI standards, but internally they may actually be at higher risk of developing health problems related to weight gain.

Body fat distribution is also a predictor of health risk, accumulation of fat around the abdominal area ,often referred to as apple shaped physique carries more risk than fat around the hips and thighs (pear shaped physique)

So why is BMI still the preferred way to measure weight and evaluate obesity? For one, it’s a relatively easy measurement for doctors to take during an office visit. Taking a person’s height and weight and plugging it into an equation produces a number that informs doctors about whether their patients are at high, low or no risk when it comes to weight-related health problems.

Used in isolation, Body Mass Index is not a diagnostic tool.

It’s only one factor related to the risk of someone developing overweight- or obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, metabolic problems, high blood pressure or diabetes.

To assess the extent of any health risk to a person with a high Body Mass Index, other risk factors associated with obesity should also be considered. These include evaluations of blood pressure, diet, physical activity and family history.

Remember, Body Mass Index does not distinguish between lean body mass, including lean muscle mass, and body fat. Studies have shown that you can have a normal BMI while having a high percentage of body fat (relative to lean muscle)

So If you have an average Lean mass!

Muscles are denser than fat; that’s why they weigh more.

BMI however doesn’t distinguish between weight due to muscle and weight due to body fat.

A very fit or muscular person (for example an athlete such as a body builder) has above-average lean muscle mass.

Such a person may register a Body Mass Index above 25 due to the fact that they have above-average lean muscle mass.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re overweight or carrying excess body fat.

It’s not uncommon common for athletes, bodybuilders and even people who are ‘naturally muscular’ to have a reading in the overweight or obese range even though they are extremely fit and healthy.

Women carry more Fat: Men carry more muscles

It’s perfectly normal for women to carry more body fat than men, and for men to have more muscle than women.

However it would be rare for these two factors to exactly balance each other out, producing identical readings for a healthy man and woman of the same height.

Main Causes of obesity?

The shape and size of your body is due to a combination of both genetic and environmental   factors working in unison.

Inherited factors account for 70% of body weight differences in individuals


Understanding your energy balance is crucial in you keeping of the accumulation of weight, this ensures the consumption is equal to expenditure energy hence balance and this can be twitched to suit in ones interest .

Ideal nourishment is the key to health weight

And also mind set on eating healthy and stay tuned on how your body reacts to different types of foods it will help you in making the right choice



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