Too fat or too thin, you may be unhealthy.
Calculating your BMI can give you a general idea as to whether you are underweight, at a healthy weight, or obese. Body mass index (BMI) is a standard measurement that represents the percentage of body fat for adult men and women. It can help you determine if you are at an increased risk for health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers including breast cancer. Starting in Europe more than 150 years ago, the BMI calculation became popular in the U.S. in the 1980’s.
But a BMI calculation is nothing more than an estimate as it can only measure so much. For instance, BMI may overestimate body fat in athletes and other people with muscular builds, and it may underestimate body fat in older people and those who have lost muscle mass. Still, it is a good tool to help determine if you fall above or below the safety line.
Here’s how to calculate your BMI.
There are several websites that will provide a calculation for you, but as first mentioned over at the Iowa Avenue blog, you can do a quick calculation with your own calculator . . . take 703 times your weight, divide by your height in inches, and divide again by your height in inches (703 x weight / height twice).
Here are what the results mean.
Of the U.S. population, only 33.5 percent of us have a good BMI in proportion to their height, 34 percent are overweight, and 30 percent fall under the morbidly obese category. If you find yourself in the overweight category and are wanting to lose weight, keep in mind that in order to lose one pound per week, you need to eliminate 500 calories from your day. You can do that by cutting back on the calories you consume, or by exercising, or a combination of both.