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Body Mass Index to Measure Obesity & Assess Weight

Weight/height measurement to gauge obesity and morbid obesity
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What is Body Mass Index?

Body mass index is a weight and obesity measurement system. Body mass index is a calculation based on height and weight, and it is not gender-specific. Body mass index does not directly measure percent of body fat, but it is a more accurate indicator of overweight and obesity than relying on weight alone.

Formula for Body Mass Index

Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.

The mathematical formula is:

weight (kg) divided by height squared (meters²).

Formula in Pounds

To determine body mass index using pounds and inches, multiply your weight in pounds by 704.5, then divide the result by your height in inches, and divide that result by your height in inches a second time.

Body Mass Index Categories

According to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25–29.9. Obesity means having a body mass index of 30+.

These definitions, widely used by the Federal government and increasingly by the broader medical and scientific communities, are based on evidence that health risks increase more steeply in individuals with a body mass index greater than 25.

Health Risks Rise With Weight

While health risks associated with increasing weight levels do not necessarily correspond to rigid cutoff points. For example, an overweight individual with a body mass index of 29 does not instantly acquire additional health consequences associated with obesity simply by reaching a body mass index of 30. However, it is true that health risks generally increase with increasing BMI.

Drawbacks of Body Mass Index

Using body mass index as a weight-assessment method is convenient - but it does have drawbacks.

One problem with using body mass index is that very muscular people may fall into the “overweight” category when they are actually healthy and fit.

Another problem with using body mass index is that people who have lost muscle, such as the elderly, may be in the “healthy weight” category - according to their body mass index - when they actually have reduced nutritional reserves. Body mass index, therefore, is useful as a general guideline to monitor trends in the population, but by itself is not conclusive of an individual patient’s health or weight status. Further evaluation of a patient should be performed to determine his or her true health and weight status.

See also:
Obesity Levels USA
Obesity Levels Worldwide
Obesity Risk For Diabetes
Morbid Obesity Surgeries
Surgical Reduction of Obesity
Treatment Of Obesity
Effects of Surgery on Morbid Obesity

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Laparoscopic or open bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding or bypass is not an easy solution to morbid obesity and weight loss. It is a serious surgical procedure, involving health risks. To produce lasting weight loss it requires a long-term patient commitment to eating a healthy diet and following a regular program of physical exercise. Life-long use of nutritional supplements may also be necessary. So, before deciding, discuss your options fully with your doctor. © 2003-2017 Bariatric-Surgery.Info - Terms - Contact - Information - Resources