What Is Body Mass Index?
How To Calculate Body Mass Index?
To calculate your body mass index, you need to know your weight and your height. It’s helpful to use a BMI calculator like the one found here. Once you have a score, it corresponds to different ranges that can be interpreted as follows:
- A BMI lower than 18.5 is classified as underweight
- A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered a healthy weight
- A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is classified as overweight
- A BMI of 30 to 34.9 is obese class I
- A BMI of 35 to 39.9 is obese class II
- A BMI of 40 or higher is obese class III
Body mass index should not be used to classify children’s weights. It also doesn’t provide an accurate picture of other sub-groups including
- Pregnant women
- Professional athletes
- Older people
- People of Asian ethnicity
- People of Polynesian ethnicity.
What Is Body Mass Index Used For?
Your body mass index should be considered along with your waist measurement to evaluate your risk of developing potential health problems. Having a larger waist size is indicative of internal deposits of fat that can coat your internal organs and increase your risk of chronic health problems like
- Type II diabetes
- Sleep apnoea
- Some forms of cancer.
Women with a waist size of 80 cm or more and men with a waist size of 94 cm or more are at increased risk of developing chronic health conditions.
How To Change Your Body Mass Index?
60% of Australian adults are overweight or obese and are at risk of developing weight-related diseases. Staying within a healthy weight range is desirable but if you aren’t, there are measures you can take to reduce your body mass index and live a healthier lifestyle:
Get more physically active
Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. If you haven’t been physically active for a while, start with walking and aim to increase your step count incrementally every day. Choose activities that are interesting and that you enjoy doing.
Another small change that can make a big difference is to reduce the time you sit for. Make yourself get up every hour and go for a walk.
Set realistic goals for weight loss
Start reducing your intake of processed and junk food and add in more vegetables. Get more organised and plan your meals and snacks so you don’t always reach for convenience food. Make a point of preparing all your meals and eating at home. Reduce or eliminate sugared drinks from your diet. Keep your weight loss goals realistic and give yourself healthy rewards when you achieve them. If you’re serious about losing weight speak to your GP or a dietician and have an eating plan drawn up to help you create a calorie deficit but still ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to stay strong and healthy.
Other ways you can improve your health and wellbeing include
- Not smoking
- Reducing your alcohol intake
- Reducing the amount of salt and sugar in your diet
- Managing chronic health conditions
The Importance Of Making The Mental Mind Shift
Rather than thinking that you are going on a diet or limiting yourself, try to think about it as a lifestyle change that you are undertaking for your overall health and wellbeing. While losing weight is a benefit, the end goal is improved health. If you are categorised as overweight or obese, losing some weight will improve your general state of health. Being on a diet infers a short period of abstinence where you run the risk of slipping back into your old habits once it’s over. Changing your lifestyle is a permanent shift that will bring you wellness rewards.
If you are overweight or in an obese category, try to accept that it may take time to change your BMI. Don’t feel disheartened if you can’t lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. Stay committed to shifting to a healthier lifestyle and give yourself more time to achieve your weight loss goals.
Why Body Mass Index Matters?
While it doesn’t give a complete picture of what’s going on with your body, your body mass index gives a snapshot of your state of health and how at risk you might be for developing chronic health problems. It offers a standardised way for healthcare professionals to assess their patients’ state of health.
For more help in understanding what is body mass index or what your BMI says about your state of health, please call us for professional assistance: (02) 9884 9300 .
Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
Body mass index (BMI)
Body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement
What is a healthy body weight?