Have you heard the phrase “everyone has a number”? The phrase is referring to money but I want to use it for determining BMI. BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a simple calculation to get an idea of where you fall on the healthy to unhealthy range. Knowing and understanding this number can be the beginning to getting healthier.
A BMI is calculated based on your weight and height. It doesn’t give you the whole story behind your health but it gives you an idea of where you are so you can move forward.
To calculate your BMI you can go to a trusted site online and calculate it using your height and weight, or you can use a chart like the one below. This will give you an estimate of where you are and then you will know how to set your goal of where you need to be based on the results of your weight status.
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After calculating your BMI, observe what category you are in. If you are on the scale in the overweight area you should try to avoid gaining additional weight. Additionally, if you are overweight, you might need to get checked for other risk factors (such as high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure) that might be early signs of heart disease and other obesity related problems. If you notice that you are in the obese or overweight category, talk to your doctor about losing weight to help improve your health and eliminate these issues. According to the CDC, “Studies have shown that BMI levels correlate with body fat and with future health risks. High BMI predicts future morbidity and death.” Therefore, BMI is an appropriate measure for screening for obesity and its health risks.
Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help lower the risk of disease. Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider to determine appropriate ways to lose weight.