How to Use the BMI Calculator
to Know Your Health Status
One of the tools used to measure an aspect of your health is the body mass index or BMI calculator. It uses a BMI formula that allows you to know how BMI is calculated so that you know whether you’re considered underweight, normal, or overweight.
After all, when it comes to your health, every inconsistency and indication of possible illness should never be neglected. By practicing due diligence, you can enjoy golden moments in life without unnecessary pain and illness.
In this article, you’ll learn what BMI means, how it is calculated using the Body Mass Index formula, and how such information can help you.
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Taking both your height and weight in relation to your age, the body mass index indicates whether your current body weight is within the healthy range. It indicates whether you are malnourished, underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.
You can use a BMI chart to check which category you’ll fall under. An example of this is the Adult Body Mass Index (BMI) chart created by the University of Vermont. It has become a universal tool for identifying BMI classifications.
Depending on your weight class, your classification of a healthy BMI ratio may vary. BMI calculator will help finding this out.
However, knowing your BMI and how to calculate it using a BMI calculator will make you aware of your bodily limitations. With people now leaning towards a sedentary lifestyle, knowing your BMI can serve as a warning to take your health more seriously.
What is the Importance of Knowing Your BMI?
Knowing your body mass index through a BMI calculator can lead to early detection of the following diseases:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Type 2 diabetes
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
- Liver disease
What’s even more terrifying is that the more obese or overweight you are, the more susceptible you are to cancer. It can range from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization data show that around three million people die each year due to obesity.
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How Can You Calculate Your BMI Using the BMI Formula?
You’ll be surprised to know that calculating BMI is quite simple using a BMI formula. All you need is a trusty pen and paper and list down the following information first:
- Height in meters or inches
- Weight in kilograms or pounds
Then, take note of this BMI formula: BMI = weight (kg)/height (m)2.
If you prefer the English system, you can use this BMI formula instead: BMI = weight (lb)/height (in)2 x 703.
To provide you with a more comprehensive illustration, here’s a hypothetical situation.
- Josie is a 25-year-old woman working as a banker in the World Bank. In her latest medical exam, she was 170 centimeters (1.7 meters when converted to calculate the BMI) and weighed 70 kilograms. Her BMI result was 24.22, which belongs to the healthy category.
BMI = 70 kilograms / 1.7 meters2
BMI = 24.22 (HEALTHY)
If you don’t have the luxury of time to compute your BMI, you can always use our BMI calculator, which is designed to give you accurate and quick results. Use the Adult Body Mass Index chart to check if your BMI falls within the healthy range.
What If the BMI Calculator Indicates You’re Overweight or Obese?
First of all, you don’t need to panic. As mentioned earlier, BMI is just one health indicator among many. Some factors influence your BMI ratio, too.
The best thing to do is book an appointment with your physician and communicate your BMI results to him.
There are instances when he’ll ask for more tests and other diagnostic exams, but these are all normal. The BMI calculator is not a diagnostic tool for the mentioned diseases, but it can be a warning.
Furthermore, here are more tips for maintaining or losing body weight for a healthier you:
- Talk to your physician to get the most suitable weight loss program for you. A lot of programs promise instant weight loss, but many of them are just pure drama and don’t really work for everyone. It might even do you more harm than good.
- Engaging in 120-150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise will help you break a sweat. Be careful, though, as not all exercises are appropriate for each individual. Ask your doctor first to determine whether there are physical activities you need to stay away from.
- List down your eating habits. Keeping a food diary will make you more conscious of the food choices you make. As such, it’s easier to tweak habits that prevent you from reaching your optimum health.
What are the Limitations of the BMI Calculator?
Although a BMI calculator comes in handy when maintaining a healthy weight, it isn’t an absolute measure of health.
A paper published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that age, sex, ethnicity, and muscle mass could affect the overall BMI correlation and body fat.
Aside from these factors, the CDC also pointed out that the following can skew your normal BMI result:
- Muscle mass
- Body fat percentage
- Muscle and bone composition
Still, using a BMI calculator and BMI chart can give you a bird’s eye view of your current health status, helping you maintain a healthy weight, break bad habits, and start healthy ones.
I do not use BMI as a sole criterion in determining one's candidacy for surgery.
As all patients have individualized goals and surgical nuances, a high BMI should not prevent them from achieving their plastic surgery goals.
Nick Masri MD
Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon