All About Your BMI

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of the fatness or thinness of a human body. BMI came into popular use around 1972 as an easy to calculate measurement of the amount of fat relative to the height and weight of an individual in order to assist in medical diagnosis.

The introduction of BMI as an aid to assessing a medical condition of the human body came about as Western society became more affluent with a rise in obesity as a consequence.

What Is BMI?

BMI is calculated by dividing a persons’ weight by the square of their height to give a reading that ideally should be between 20 – 25.

Why Check Your BMI ?

Above 25 suggests overweight, above 30 can mean obesity and over 40 becomes dangerous, life threatening obesity. Under 20 indicates underweight, possibly due to malnourishment or disease.

However, it must be emphasised that the Body Mass Index is only a guide to the amount of body fat in the human frame, it is not an accurate fat measurement tool nor should it be considered in isolation in any medical diagnosis where obesity or underweight may be a factor.

Despite this some medical practitioners and others tend to rely in their judgements on the index. For example taller people may give a high BMI despite being obviously slim, in such a case it is due to a mathematical aberration involving the BMI’s inverse proportion to the square of the height. (too complicated to discuss here).

Age, gender and ethnic origin all play a part.  Asians with a BMI of over twenty three are considered to be in overweight territory.

You may come across BMI Prime, this is a simple change to measuring a body’s BMI against BMI 25 (i.e. upper limit of good fat level) to give a reading above or below an optimum fat level of 0.99.

Those with a BMI Prime of 1% or over are overweight, between 0.74% – 0.99% have no fat problem, and below 0.74% are underweight.

How To Calculate Your BMI

It is easy to calculate your BMI as long as you know your weight and height.  Download this tool to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and give you an indication of your fitness. It saves the results in a file, so you can through the program look at the file, and compare your results from day to day, which gives you an overview of your weight development over time.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cactus Facts January 1, 2012

Thank you so much for this useful information. I was able accurately check my BMI with the information you provided.


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