BMI is the acronym for Body Mass Index that is used to evaluate an individual's weight in relation to their height and see if they are within the ideal weight, above or below it.
Being within the right weight is important because being overweight or underweight influences health by increasing the risk of diseases such as malnutrition when you are underweight, and stroke and heart attack when you are overweight. It is common for doctors, nurses and nutritionists to assess the weight of the person in routine medical appointments to check the possibility of diseases that the person may be prone to develop.
How to Calculate your BMI
To calculate the BMI, you have to use the following mathematical formula: Weight ÷ height x height. You can find out if you are within your ideal weight using our online calculator, by entering your data below:
This formula is ideal for calculating the weight of healthy adults. You can also use the calculation of waist-to-hip ratio to assess the risk of having cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes or even heart attack.
What do the BMI results mean?
Each BMI result should be evaluated by a health professional.
The following table indicates the possible outcomes of BMI, according to the World Health Organization, with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 representing the ideal weight and the lowest risk of some diseases.
|Classification||BMI||What can happen|
|Very underweight||16 a 16,9 kg/m2||Hair loss, infertility, menstrual absence|
|Underweight||17 a 18,4 kg/m2||Fatigue, stress, anxiety|
|Normal Weight||18,5 a 24,9 kg/m2||Lower risk of heart and vascular disease|
|Overweight||25 a 29,9 kg/m2||Fatigue, poor circulation, varicose veins|
|Obesity Grade I||30 a 34,9 kg/m2||Diabetes, angina, stroke, atherosclerosis|
|Obesity Grade II||35 a 40 kg/m2||Sleep apnea, shortness of breath|
|Obesity Grade III||bigger than 40 kg/m2|
Reflux, difficulty moving, bedsores, diabetes, heart attack and stroke
Those who are not within the ideal weight should adjust their diet and exercise to achieve a more appropriate weight for their height and age.
When you are underweight you should increase your intake of nutrient-rich foods so your body has what it takes to protect itself from diseases. Those who are above the ideal weight should consume fewer calories and do some type of exercise to eliminate the fat stored in the body tissues, because they increase the risk of heart disease.
When not to calculate your BMI
Although BMI is widely used to verify whether an individual is overweight or not, this method has some flaws and therefore it is recommended that in addition to it, there is used other means of diagnosis to verify if the individual is actually above or below of ideal weight, such as measuring the fat crease, for example.
BMI is not the ideal parameter to evaluate the ideal weight in:
- Athletes and very muscular people: because it does not take into account the weight of the muscles. In this case the neck measurement is a better option;
- Elderly people: because it does not take into account that muscles reduce naturally with age;
- During pregnancy: because it does not take into account the growth of the baby.
In addition, it is counter-indicated in cases of malnutrition, ascites, edema and in bedridden patients.
A nutritionist can personally do all the necessary calculations to evaluate your weight and how much you need to gain or lose, taking into account your general state of health.
Why it's important to be within the ideal weight
It is important to be within your ideal weight because the right weight is closely linked to the person's state of health.
Having a small accumulation of fat in the body is important so that there are energy reserves for when a person gets sick, giving them time to recover. However, excess fat accumulates in the liver, the waist and also inside the arteries making it difficult to pass blood, and this increases the risk of heart disease.
Therefore, being within the ideal weight is important to increase health, prevent cardiovascular diseases and have more quality of life. So, those who are underweight should increase muscle volume to gain weight in a healthy way and those who are overweight should burn fat to gain health.