Everyone strives to keep their body in a normal shape! And not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for their state of health. When you are at a normal weight, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases is much lower. Thanks to the body mass index (BMI), you can just determine your optimal weight! What is it and where did it come from? How to calculate your weight? It’s all in the material!
What is body mass index?
Body mass index — BMI (English body mass index (BMI)) — a value due to which it is calculated how much a person’s weight corresponds to his height. And with the help of the results, it is possible to assess whether body weight corresponds to height: it is normal, insufficient or excessive (obesity). This makes it clear whether a person needs to undergo treatment, whether it is worth using special medications, and so on.
Who developed the BMI? A bit of history
Calculating the body mass index was invented in 1869 by the Belgian sociologist and statistician Adolf Quetelet. Thus, calculating body weight has become much easier than just estimating “by eye” or asking someone else to estimate your weight.
Quetelet’s discovery was known only to a narrow circle of people. The Quetelet index was not popular even in the first half of the 20th century.
This formula was given new life by the American nutritionist Ankel Case, who published an article in the journal Chronic Diseases in 1972, which called this calculation formula — body mass index.
And since then, this term has become very popular, and not only among doctors, but also among all those who monitor their health.
However, it should be understood that BMI does not give a 100% result. Using a calculator to calculate your number is for indicative purposes only. For example, if you take an athlete who literally lives in the gym and calculate his BMI, it will not be accurate, because muscle is heavier than fat.
It is curious that the indicator of the BMI norm in different countries differs markedly from each other. If we focus on the data of WHO indicators, then the average is considered the norm. However, at the same time, a person with a normal BMI may look like he is overweight.
Formula for calculating body mass index (BMI)
To find out your BMI number, you need to divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters.
BMI = WEIGHT / HEIGHT2
The formula does not take into account the gender and age of a person, despite the fact that the BMI of men is higher than the BMI of women, and the BMI is higher in middle-aged people, and lower in children and the elderly.
Table with BMI values
Interpretation of BMI indicators, in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO)
- 16 or less Severe underweight;
- 16–18.5 Insufficient (deficit) body weight;
- 18.5–25 Normal weight (ideal);
- 25–30 Overweight (pre-obesity).
If you find it difficult to calculate, use the table for calculating your BMI or a calculator.
A BMI in women is considered normal if it is in the range from 20 to 22. In men, it should be from 23 to 25. According to statistics, people whose BMI ranges from 18 to 22 live longer on average than those with who have weight problems.
If a person has more than 25 or less than 16, then this indicates that you need to change your lifestyle! As we have already indicated above, this does not swing athletes.
BMI does not take into account the ratio between lean body mass and body fat. In addition, you should not use BMI for pregnant women, the elderly and children. But, despite this, BMI is the correct method, whether weight is a threat to the health of the body as a whole, to warn yourself against obesity or anorexia.
BMI is especially relevant in Western countries, where the problem of obesity has always been a hot issue. But, at the same time, making medical diagnoses based on BMI is also not correct, because initially BMI was developed as just a sociological study.
Body mass index helps only control weight when trying out a new fitness program or diet.
It is generally accepted that the average BMI should be slightly below normal in order for people to have something to strive for. But there is another belief that if a person weighs much above the BMI norm, then this can lead to low self-esteem, depression and other diseases.
Control your weight and make sure that it is normal!
The opinion of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.