Many people end up reducing how they feel about health and their bodies to numbers, whether it be weight, height, pants size, or most commonly, BMI. While these numbers certainly are important and can be indicative of your health, it is important to not focus too much on one number and make sure you’re seeing the whole picture when it comes to your well-being.
What Is BMI?
BMI, which stands for body mass index, is a standard that most healthcare providers use to determine where you fall within a range of healthy weight, being overweight, or being obese. It’s a basic formula and is determined by dividing your body weight in kilograms by your height in meters. If the calculations determine a number below 18.5, you’re considered underweight. Normal weight is considered between 18.5 – 24.9. You’re considered overweight if your BMI falls between 25 – 29.9, and obese if your BMI is greater than 30.
What Does BMI Actually Indicate?
Your BMI number isn’t a perfect indicator of either your health or your body fat, but it does give healthcare providers a decent picture of your current body structure and whether you might fall into a category where you’re at a higher risk for certain diseases. The formula, unfortunately, can’t account for other factors, including age, sex, ethnicity, or muscle mass. For instance, women tend to have more body fat than men with the same BMI. Certain ethnicities have different amounts of body fat even when their BMIs are the same. Older people usually have more body fat than young adults, and athletes have less body fat than non-athletes. Although the formula to calculate BMI is the same for teenagers and children, it is interpreted differently than it is for adults. Rather than being a straight number, BMI is expressed as a percentage range in comparison to other people of the same age and sex. All of these factors are why it’s important to have a doctor properly interpret your BMI numbers and view them through the lens of your individual health.
BMI isn’t the only way the medical community can measure your body health. It can also be measured using waist-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, the composition of body fat and lean body mass, and an evaluation of your cardiovascular health.
What Are The Health Consequences Of Carrying Too Much Or Too Little Weight?
Being overweight or obese can cause a number of health problems, as can being underweight. People don’t often discuss the dangers of being underweight, which can include anemia, vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, a poor immune system, infertility issues, and developmental delays. For those with a high BMI, health risks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep problems, and even certain types of cancer.
What Can I Do About My Weight?
It’s important to remember that, no matter your age and stage in life, it’s never too late to make changes to your lifestyle. At NEW You Weight Loss, we focus on individual patients and can help you determine your best course of action for losing weight. We recognize that there isn’t one solution that works for everyone, so we offer a range of options to suit your needs. Our weight loss solutions also include nutritional and lifestyle counseling to help you achieve long-term success. Request a consultation today so we can help you determine your best options for your health and wellness goals.