What is Obesity? How Do I Calculate my BMI?

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


What is obesity? It is the condition of being very fat or overweight. (Ref: www.dictionary.com)

An obese person has collected so much body fat that his bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be. And one of the best ways to know whether you are obese is calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). If your BMI shows you are in between 25 and 29.9, then you are considered overweight. For 30 and above, you are considered obese.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is utilized to determine whether you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or clinically obese. You can measure your Body Mass Index (BMI) from your height and weight.

Your body weight status according to BMI may rely on the country that you reside. For example, Japan's health body weight is a BMI of between 18.5 and 22.9, overweight from 23 to 24.9, and obese for over 25.

In the USA, a healthy body weight is a BMI of 27 after adopting the World Health Organization guidelines in 1998. Before that, you are considered healthy weight if you have a BMI of 26.8 which is already "obese" in Japan.

Now, there are two ways to calculate your BMI—metric and imperial systems.

The Metric system divides your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

For example:

Weight 52 kilograms

Height 1.9 meters

1.922  = 3.68

52 divided by 3.68 = BMI is 14.13

However, the Imperial system your weight in pounds is multiplied by 703, divided by the square of their height in inches.

For example:

Weight 102 lbs

Height 60 inches (6 feet)

602 = 3600

102 X 703 / 3600 = 19.91

From World Health Organization, it is assessed that:

BMI less than 18.5 – Underweight

BMI between 18.5 and 25 – Healthy weight

BMI between 25 and 30 – Overweight

BMI between 30 and 40 – Obese

BMI over 40 – Very obese, morbidly obese

Your BMI can't separate and measure your body fat content and your muscle content. For instance, you can have a higher BMI if you are a 6' 5" athlete compared to someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle of the same height. Most probably, the latter may be overweight while you are not because of high muscle-to-fat ratio.

There are a lot of discussions regarding the veracity of BMI. It can be faulty for some. After all, there can be other aspects that may be ignored like muscle structure and ethnic origin. But for others, they have definitely taken advantage of the results as their guide towards the treatment of obesity

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