With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s important to eat healthy to maximize nutrition. But, it’s also important to keep an eye on your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Your BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. Because calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians and for the general public. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic.
A high BMI can be an indicator that you may be overweight. To determine if a high BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.
The correlation between the BMI and body fatness is fairly strong, but even if two people have the same BMI, their level of body fatness may differ. See examples below:
- In general, at the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.
- In general, at the same BMI, older people, on average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults.
- In general, at the same BMI, athletes have less body fat than do non-athletes.
The accuracy of BMI as an indicator of body fatness also appears to be higher in persons with higher levels of BMI and body fatness. While, a person with a very high BMI is very likely to have high body fat, a relatively high BMI can be the results of either high body fat or high lean body mass (muscle and bone).
Your doctor should perform appropriate health assessments in order to evaluate an individual’s health status and risks. Talk to your doctor about your BMI and what your results mean to you.Tags: BMI, Body health, Body Mass, Body Mass Index, High Body Mass, Obesity