Is BMI the Ultimate measure of body fitness?

The Body Mass Index is also referred as the Quetelet index which is calculated from the individual’s body Height and weight(Mass). Body Mass Index percentile is the good estimation of body fat but it doesn’t measure the body fat directly.

Is BMI the Ultimate measure of body fitness?

However, based on the research demonstration that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat such as Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and underwater weighing which is simple, cheaper and easy-to-perform the measurement. The Body Mass Index also calculated using a chart or table which shows BMI as a function of height and weight using contour colors or lines for different BMI categories.

The Belgian mathematician, astronomer, sociologist and statistician Adolphe Quetelet formulated the Quetelet Index in 1832. The later period of the year 1972 Ancel Keys termed the Quetelet Index as Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is an experiment to evaluate the Volume of tissue mass such as muscle, fat, and bone in an individual body, and then categorize that person’s body as underweightnormal weightoverweight, or obese based on the value measured from BMI.

One person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. In this higher value of BMI indicates high body fatness. The Body Mass Index can be used to cover the weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not determining the disease or condition of the body fatness or health of an individual. Generally accepted BMI scale ranges are,

  • Underweight – under 18.5 kg/m2
  • Normal weight – 5 to 25 kg/m2
  • Overweight – 25 to 30 kg/m2
  • Obese – over 30 kg/m2

Based on the above scale a person can be set into one of the weight categories based on the BMI value. Basically, BMI is used as a screening tool to indicate whether the person having a healthy weight for their height. The Body Mass Index scale values are the same for male and female and also age-independent.

However, in different populations, BMI does not correspond to the same degree of fatness due to different body proportions. The health risk involved in rising BMI are uninterrupted, and the impression of BMI measure in relation to risk will differ depends on the different populations. BMI strongly correlated to metabolic diseases and cardiovascular diseases and it’s the commonly used measure of body composition. Some of the chronic diseases which are linked with high BMI includes,

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Some forms of cancer including breast, colon, and kidney cancers
  • Stroke
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
  • liver disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gallstones
  • high blood pressure
  • bone loss
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • Decreased immune function
  • Poor quality of life

To clearly identify one person’s health condition of chronic disease, specifically heart disease, one person’s BMI should be considered in addition to the following,

  • Physical activity status
  • Family history
  • Smoking history
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Age

It is quite important to balance the BMI. If your BMI is higher than the normal, do not be pessimistic. This may lead some risky to your body condition so consult the doctor, registered dietitian, exercise physiologist or physician to acquire body fat percentage. This is the very mandatory indicator of health status in BMI. These are three extremely important things to balance a healthy body composition,

  • Healthy Food habits
  • Following the exercise program which is required
  • Actively involved in the physical activity throughout the day.

BMI is explained differently for children that are people who are under 20 years old. Calculation or formula used to derive the BMI is the same for both adult and children. However, the conclusion that can be drawn for children and adults vary based on the age group and gender. Children and teens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses age growth charts to show BMI as a percentile ranking which is shown below,

Percentile            Weight Status

Below 5th                 Underweight

5th to 85th           Normal weight or healthy weight

85th to 95th          Overweight

95th and above            Obese

National Institutes of Health stated that more than two adults in three are considered overweight and the same wise one in three adults are considered obese. Overall 17 percent of children and teens are obese. Globally people gain the weight as an outcome of an energy imbalance. Every human body requires a considerable amount of energy from food to function. This energy is acquired in the form of calories. If you take more calories, then you will gain weight over time.

How to Calculate BMI?

There are two ways to calculate BMI, based on imperial units or metric units. The first and mandatory is to measure the weight and height.

  • Imperial units

Step 1: Multiply the weight in pounds (lb) by 703

Consider the weight is 175 pounds

175 x 703 = 123025

Step 2: Now, divide the number by the height in inches

Consider the height is 5’11” that is 71 inches.

123025 / 71 = 1732.75

Step 3: Again, divide the number by height in inches

1732.75 / 71 = 24.4

  • Metric units

Step 1: Square the height in meters (m2)

Consider the height is 1.803 meters

1.803 x 1.803 = 3.25

Step 2: Now, divide the weight in kilograms (kg) by the height m2

Consider the weight is 79.5 kilograms

79.5 / 3.25 = 24.46

Now depends on the above calculation the BMI for this height and Weight is 24.4 kg/m2. As I mentioned earlier the accepted BMI scale range, this person comes under Normal weight (18.5 to 25 kg/m2 ) Which is also considered a healthy weight range.

Benefits of maintaining a healthy BMI

The benefits of retaining a healthy weight include the following,

  • Shortened the risk involved in the certain cancers and heart disease.
  • It adds extra powers to your muscle and joint, can avoid joint and muscle pains.
  • Heightened the energy to your body so can actively involve in more regular activities.
  • Enhanced blood pressure and bodily fluids regulation.
  • Diminishes the difficulty of risk in heart and circulatory system.
  • Can get Natural patterns of sleep.
  • The contraction in blood glucose, blood triglycerides and danger of type 2 diabetes.
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