Your body mass index, or BMI, is a number that’s calculated based on your height and weight. Although it is not a perfect measurement for determining if you’re overweight or not, it is much more accurate than using the number on the scale alone.
A quick history lesson here… BMI is a comparative analysis of people with similar heights, originating from a Belgian statistician and mathematician named Adolphe Quatelet who created BMI s around the 1850s.
Today, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a medical benchmark for obesity by the World Health Organization for its obesity statistics. BMI was introduced by the government to promote nutritional awareness and healthy eating habits.
BMI is a simple “rule of thumb” that anyone, of any height or weight, can calculate themselves at home. It’s not the best possible indicator of your health, since it can be inaccurate for children, athletes and older persons, but it’s defiantly a good approximation for most people.
What’s your BMI?
To calculate your BMI, you’ll need to do some conversions and a little math. Simply divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Alternatively, you can find several BMI calculators online with a simple Google search (lol).
What’s it all mean?
For the most part, any individual with BMI of 19 or less may be classified as underweight, and possibly malnourished or suffering from an eating disorders.
A person with a BMI of 25 is considered overweight and a person with a BMI of 30 (uh oh!) would be classified as extremely obese.
In the United States, surveys suggest 59% of men and 49% of women are overweight according to their BMI. Over 2% of those men and 4% of women were reported to be extremely obese.
Although these numbers seem less and less shocking over time, they still signify an important health crisis many Americans struggle with everyday. The increase in highly processed and fast food over the last 50 years have often been labeled the cause, but we have a choice to make overtime we sit down for a meal. Next time, choose wisely…