Why measure your Body Mass Index?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), BMI is “an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat.” Body Mass Index, or BMI, measures your weight and height and is a better way to measure your weight than a scale alone. A high BMI is an indicator of increased risks of obesity-related disease.
In addition to BMI, in our office, we measure body fat percentage and refer to charts based on your body type. After all, everybody is a little different. No one test is perfect. But all together, they can give a picture and help you set a goal.
Some people actually should not assess themselves with BMI; athletes and others who have a muscular build and the elderly as they lose muscle mass may cause the calculations to underestimate body fat.
To assess your BMI, enter the information in our easy BMI calculator below. This calculator multiplies your height in inches by itself, then divides your weight by that number, then multiplies that number by 703. The NIH sets the following standards: a BMI of 25 to 29 means you’re overweight; a BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity.
BMI does not distinguish between fat and muscle. So there is some gray area if you are just within a few digits of your ideal BMI. You may also want to track your waist circumference in addition to your BMI as it is also a reliable indicator of disease risk.
In addition to considering BMI and body fat percentage, those who have a waist size of more than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women, have a higher risk for obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.