BMI is a Red Flag for Health Risks – Here’s How to Calculate Yours
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the most important measurements about the human body, and you can calculate in seconds. Your BMI helps you detect a variety of health risks, however, most people don’t know what their BMI is. Do you know yours? If not, you should take a break from whatever you’re doing and do the math right now.
How to Calculate Your BMI
You can find your BMI by following these simple steps:
- Step on a scale and write down your weight.
- Measure your height in inches and write it down.
- Multiple your weight in pounds by 703.
- Divide that number by your height squared.
The formula is: (WEIGHT x 703) / (HEIGHT IN INCHES2) = BMI
The calculation would look like this for a person who weighs 150 lbs. and is 5’5” (65”) tall:
(150 x 703) / (652) = 24.96
Keep in mind, the calculation above is intended to be used by adults. If you don’t want to do the math, you can use the adult BMI calculator tool on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For children, you can use the child and teen BMI calculator tool on the CDC’s site, which factors age and gender into the calculation.
What Does Your BMI Tell You about Your Health Risks?
Once you know your BMI, you’ll know if you’re underweight, a normal weight, overweight, or obese based on the classifications below:
- BMI below 18.5: underweight
- BMI 18.5 – 24.9: normal
- BMI 25.0 – 29.9: overweight
- BMI 30.0 and above: obese
If your BMI is above the normal range as identified by the metrics above, then it’s likely that you’re at an increased risk for many health conditions and diseases. These include but aren’t limited to:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Breathing problems
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gallbladder disease
- Some cancers, such as breast cancer, colon cancer, cancer of the kidney, and pancreatic cancer
The higher your BMI is, the higher your risks for these diseases and health conditions are. It’s seems simple, but there are exceptions.
For example, BMI doesn’t consider body fat percentage in the calculation. Therefore, if you’re very muscular with little body fat, your BMI might overestimate your body fat. On the other hand, if you’re older or losing muscle, your BMI might underestimate your body fat.
For these reasons, it’s important to understand that BMI is a screening tool used to place people in categories and raise red flags for people who are overweight or obese. It is not a diagnosis of any kind of health condition.
You should discuss your BMI with your doctor, particularly as it relates to your age, lifestyle, and body because everyone’s body is different. While you’re talking with your doctor, don’t forget to ask about your personal risk for weight-related chronic diseases and health problems. This includes a review of your family history.
Next Steps if Your BMI is Above Normal
In addition to speaking with your healthcare provider if you learn that your BMI is above normal, you can also work with a health coach or wellness coach who can help you develop an action plan to reduce your risks. This could include developing an appropriate diet, adding exercise to your weekly routine, and more.
Together, you and your coach will define small changes you can make that lead to big transformations and a healthier, happier you.
Just follow the link to schedule a free 15-minute Talk to a Coach session with the health or wellness coach of your choice to get started right now!
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All information contained on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical or other health advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical professional. IN THE CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911.
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