By Adebukola Aluko

Do you know that understanding our BMI Status is very vital in relation to our health?

It has been observed that most individuals do not really know what the term BMI stands for.
In a recent survey conducted by some medical personnel involving health checks on groups of individuals, while asking questions randomly, it was observed that most of them were not aware or do not really know what BMI is, and the implication of not checking regularly to determine their health status.

What then is BMI? Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is an estimate of total body fat. It is defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres: i.e BMI = weight/height 2.

BMI screens for weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual.

Since Body Mass Index is a measure of body size, It combines a person’s weight with their height. The results of a BMI measurement can give an idea about whether a person has the correct weight for their height. For example, a high BMI can indicate high body fatness, and vice-versa. This number, which is central to determining whether an individual is clinically defined as obese, parallels fatness or even underweight.
BMI can also indicate whether a person is underweight or if they have a healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person’s BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly.

A person having too much weight can lead to a variety of health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems.
A weight that is too low can increase the risk of malnutrition, osteoporosis, and anemia.

BMI does not measure body fat directly, and it does not account for age, sex, ethnicity, or muscle mass in adults.

The following table shows standard weight status categories associated with BMI ranges for adults.
BMI Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5–24.9 Healthy
25.0–29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obese
BMI of less than 18.5

A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates that you are underweight, so you may need to put on some weight. It Is Important to ask your doctor or a dietitian for advice.

BMI of 18.5–24.9

A BMI of 18.5-24.9 indicates that you are at a healthy weight for your height. By maintaining a healthy weight, risk of developing serious health problems is reduced.

BMI of 25–29.9

A BMI of 25-29.9 indicates that you are slightly overweight. You may be advised to lose some weight for health reasons.

BMI of over 30

A BMI of over 30 indicates that you are heavily overweight. An individual’s health may be at risk if he or she does not lose weight.

BMI in children and teens

In adults, BMI values are not linked to age, and are the same for both sexes. However, measuring BMI in children and teens is slightly different. Girls and boys develop at different rates and have different amounts of body fat at different ages. For this reason, BMI measurements during childhood and adolescence take age and sex into consideration.

Doctors and other health professionals do not categorize children by healthy weight ranges because they change with each month of age: male and female body types change at different rates and they change as the child grows taller.

Doctors calculate BMI for children and teens in the same way as they do for adults by measuring height and weight.

As individuals, it is therefore pertinent to know that knowing your status early can help avert some health challenges

Do you know that excessive weight gain can increase the risk of the following conditions:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

Remember you are what you eat, eat healthily to live a healthy lifestyle and have your check ups regularly

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