Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What exactly is BMI (Body Mass Index)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) calculates body fat according to the relationship of weight and height. Knowing your body fat percentage can help you determine if your weight loss goals are realistic. Remember, weight loss doesn't always mean fat loss. A BMI less than 20 is considered to be a low BMI for most people. A low BMI may indicate underweight and may be associated with health problems for some people. A BMI of 20-25 is considered to be good and generally a range where people will live longer. It may indicate a healthy weight for most people. A BMI of greater than 25 is considered to be high for most people. This may indicate overweight or obesity and may increase the risk of developing health problems. Death rates are noticeable higher for people in this range. BMI is a better predictor of disease than body weight alone.

There are certain people that should not use the BMI indicator as a basis for estimating body fat content. These people would include athletes and body builders whose BMI is high due to a relatively larger amount of muscle, and women who are pregnant or breast feeding - it is also not intended for use for growing children or in frail and/or sedentary elderly individuals. Remember, it is possible to have a high BMI and a low body fat percentage. BMI is only one measure of your health. Body fat percentage, blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol and other measurements are at least as important as BMI.

BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculator

Dr Jeff St Paul
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