The medical condition of being overweight to an extent where it can affect a person’s health is called obesity. There are various reasons for obesity such as physical inactivity, genetics, overeating, an overdose of carbohydrates, etc. The most common tool to calculate obesity is body mass index (BMI).
What is BMI?
BMI or body mass index is a measure of body size depending on the height and weight of a person. It is a screening tool that suggests whether the person is obese, overweight, healthy or underweight. BMI measurement can alert about health risks if the BMI is significantly higher. It is mainly because having excess weight is a major reason behind many health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Whereas low BMI can be a cause of malnutrition, anaemia and osteoporosis.
BMI is a helpful tool to track weight status across a large demographic and identify possible issues in individuals. Although it is a standard weight status and comes with few limitations as it does not take in consideration factors like age, sex, ethnicity, muscle mass in adults, etc. Various online BMI calculator can help you do the math by merely entering your height and weight.
BMI in adults:
You can calculate BMI in adults by dividing their weight in kilograms (kg) by square of their height in meters (m2 ). To calculate BMI in metric units, you can use the following formula – BMI = kg/ m2. As most people measure height in centimetres (cm), to calculate height in meters, you can divide height in cm by 100. You can enter your height and weight in imperial or metric measurements to get your BMI depending on the type of BMI calculator.
BMI in Children and teens:
BMI in adults does not vary depending upon age or gender. Although, this isn’t the case in kids and teens as their body continuously changes due to growth. The development in girls and boys differ depending on different rates and amount of body fats. It is the reason why BMI calculation in teens and children is different than the adults.
The BMI in children and teens is calculated by measuring height and weight. Although, further they locate BMI number with the person’s sex specifications and BMI for age chart. It helps to find whether the child is in a healthy range or not.
There is no doubt that BMI is an important tool to identify the overall health risks and health status of the person. While doing so, you must also consider the fact that it does not take in consideration the muscle weight. Hence, a person with an active lifestyle or playing competitive sports may have a lot of muscle tissue leading to higher BMI. But it does not mean that the person is obese or has excessive weight. Similarly, in the case of children and teens, it is necessary to include gender and age while calculating BMI to get reliable results.