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5 Reasons For BMI Being A Good Health Indicator

Thu, Jun 10, 2021

BMI (Body Mass Index) is often regarded as a good indicator of health. The most basic definition for experts regarding obesity and being overweight is possessing excessive body fat which poses a major risk towards health. A reliable method of determining whether someone has excessive body fat is calculating the ratio of weight to height squared, i.e. the BMI or body mass index. This also takes into account the proposition that taller individuals contain higher tissue as compared to shorter individuals and hence they weigh more. You can calculate your BMI by yourself or make use of the online calculator that you find most comfortable.

BMI does not make a direct assessment of body fat levels and also the fact remains that bone and muscle are denser as compared to fat. Hence, a high BMI may be possessed by a sportsperson or athlete and yet they may not have excessive body fat. However, since most individuals are not athletes, BMI is an indicator of body fat levels. BMI is strongly linked to gold standard methods for fat measurement. It is an easy method for clinicians to determine which people may be at higher risks of health issues owing to weight.

Here are 5 reasons behind BMI being a great health indicator-

  • The WHO (World Health Organization) has made it clear that the healthy range for BMI lies between 18.5 and 24.9 for adults. This is a time-tested and easy way for organizations, doctors and individuals to determine their body fat levels and overall health conditions.
  • BMI is what helps define obesity which has been stated as BMI of 30 or more. This is needed since approximately 1.5 billion adult people over 20 years of age are obese or overweight worldwide and this should increase to more than 3 billion individuals by the year 2030.
  • Clinical and research objectives have obesity sub-divided into categories. The BMI is what helps in defining these categories, i.e. 30-34.9 for Class I, 35-39.9 for Class II and 40 for Class III. The latter has been further broken down into super obesity or 50-59 BMI and super-super obesity or BMI of 60.
  • The health of children can be monitored more effectively by keeping BMI at the forefront of calculations. Children may have varying amounts of body fat. BMI has a varying healthy range based upon gender and age. The CDC in the U.S. has defined overweight as a child with BMI lying between the 85th and 94th percentile for gender and age. Children with BMI at 95th percentile or more will be obese. Growth standards were developed by the WHO and BMI is a vital factor in these calculations.
  • BMI is easier to measure and helps in predicting risk of diseases while having a time-tested history of usage at the same time.

With obesity having increased exponentially worldwide, the perceptions of individuals have slowly changed regarding what makes up a healthy weight. Studies have found that people were likely to take into account their own weight as okay instead of overweight back in the 2000s. However, many of these people were not at their healthy and recommended weight levels. Tracking and measuring BMI has become a tested and reliable method for people to ascertain whether their health conditions are good and whether they have any risks of diseases or other ailments.

This is why the usage of BMI continues unabated in spite of several other methods existing for tracking body fat levels. It is still a good health indicator for most people worldwide.