What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

What is Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the weight of an individual in kilograms, divided by their height in meters. A BMI that is high is typically a sign of higher body fat content. Body Mass Index is generally used to screen for a variety of weight categories that could potentially lead to greater health problems, but it is not an exact diagnosis of a person’s entire body fatness and health.

How To Find Your Target Weight

Being obese or overweight increases your chances of developing elevated or high blood pressure. In reality, as the body gains weight, your blood pressure increases. Losing even 10 pounds can decrease your blood pressure, and slimming down helps decrease hypertension. Obesity and being overweight are risk factors for cardiovascular problems and heart disease. Being obese or overweight increases your odds of developing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which are 2 risk factors for cardiovascular problems.

How Do You Measure Body Fat?

Two key measures are utilized to decide if someone is obese or overweight. BMI is a measure of one’s weight that is measured along with height. It provides an approximation of body fat–which is what increases the danger of cardiovascular diseases. However, BMI will not determine risk. For instance, if someone who has issues from fluid retention or who is quite muscular, Body Mass Index may overestimate body fat. BMI can underestimate body fat in people who are losing weight or in older people. This is why waist dimension is assessed and often checked as well. The risk of infection is a risk that is increased by the excess weight. A waist measurement of more than 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women is also deemed high.

Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight include an exercise plan that can help you maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI):

• Reduced muscle and joint pain
• Strengthened ability and increased desire to become more active
• Improved control of bodily fluids and blood pressure
• Diminished burden on the heart and circulatory system
• Enhanced sleep patterns
• Alleviation in blood triglycerides, blood glucose, and chance of developing type 2 diabetes
• Minimized risk for heart disease and particular types of cancer
Extra body fat increases how hard the heart has to work. In addition, excess weight increases blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels and it reduces HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Extra fat may make an individual prone to develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Bottom line

Lifestyle changes that allow you to keep a 3-5 percent weight loss are most likely to result in improvements in triglycerides blood sugar and risk. Greater fat reduction and weight loss may help enhance blood glucose and reduce blood pressure levels. So knowing what is body mass index (BMI) will ultimately help you maintain your health and decrease your chances of diseases later in life.