All you need to know about Body Mass Index (BMI)

The body mass index (BMI) is an indicator of your weight. It tells you if you are an obese, overweight, or underweight. It takes into account your height and weight. The formula to calculate your BMI is

BMI = Weight (kg) / Height (square) (in metres)

BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of his/her height in meters. For example, if your weight is 60 kilograms and your height is 5 feet 3 inches, your BMI will be calculated as follows:

60 / 2.61 (1.6 * 1.6)
(5 feet 3 inches is approximately 1.6 meters)

This gives us a BMI reading at 22.9.

You are considered to be healthy if your BMI is 25. However, Indians are still prone to lifestyle disease and are unhealthy if their BMI is 25. So 23 is said to be a healthy BMI figure for Indians. The following chart helps defines one’s health status.


There are some limitations of BMI measurements

It does not take into the consideration body fat percentage. Body fat percentage is an indicator of your health-related issues. The Higher fat percentage is directly related to a host of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, liver diseases, low BP, cancer etc.

However, if you are an athlete or an overall active person, your body weight may be high not because of fat but because of muscle. Muscle is denser than fat and abundance of muscle means more weight and hence, higher BMI. But in such a situation, it is not unhealthy because it doesn’t have the associated health risks which a high BMI reading carries.

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