Body Mass Index Weight

Fitness and Health: Body Mass Index, BMI, and Weight

Fitness: Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is basically the relationship between your height and weight.

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Fitness and Health

Fitness: Body Mass Index and Weight

By Rob McLean

Fitness:Body Mass Index (BMI) is an objective standard that is becoming the measurement of choice for most health care professionals.

The role of fitness in health:

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Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is an objective standard that is becoming the measurement of choice for most health care professionals. It is basically the relationship between your height and weight.

Although Body Mass Index does not directly measure percent of body fat, higher BMIs are usually associated with an increase in body fat and the potential health risks of excess weight. Higher BMIs are an indication of preventable risk just like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

There are some drawbacks to using this index as a measurement of obesity. The BMI makes no distinction between fat and muscle mass. The BMI:

1. Is not a direct measure of body fatness.

2. Does not measure lean muscle mass.

3. Does not show the location of body fat distribution.

4. Does not differentiate between people with small frames and people with large frames. People with stockier builds may be considered overweight without having a lot of body fat. People with small frames may be considered a healthy weight when they actually have an unhealthy level of body fat.

Therefore, BMI is not recommended for use as the sole measurement of either body composition or level of fitness. That said, the federal government announced guidelines which create a new definition of unhealthy weight: Those individuals with a BMI range of 25 or more with a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at high risk for health problems–generally, the higher the BMI and the larger the waist measurement, the greater the health risks.

How did Americans get so "hefty?" In my opinion, lifestyle, fast/processed food, snacks, and government subsidies. Food is bargain-priced, plentiful, processed, and mostly unhealthy. I believe our corner eateries, school lunches, and food industries make up a junk food delivery system that is unsurpassed in the world, often serving food that is cheap because it is subsidized by the federal government.

Add a lifestyle that seems to include less and less exercise every year–and–we get fat!

One variable BMI fails to consider, however, is lean body mass. It is possible for a healthy, muscular individual with very low body fat to be classified obese using the BMI formula. If this describes you, ignore the Body-Mass Index.

Below 20: You are considered underweight and may have immunity problems.

20 through 24: A BMI between 20 and 22 indicates a healthy amount of body fat and is associated with a long life and with less serious illness. In fact, through 24 is generally considered satisfactory and indicitive of continued good health.

25 through 30: You are considered overweight and thought to be at increased risk for a variety of illnesses. Time to lose weight by changing your diet and exercising more.

Over 30: This indicates an unhealthy weight where you are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, and some cancers. You should definitely lose weight by changing your diet and exercising more.

To use the table, find the appropriate height in the left-hand column labeled Height. Move across to a given weight. The number at the top of the column is the BMI at that height and weight. Pounds have been rounded off.

BMI 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Body Weight (pounds) 58 91 96 100 105 110 115 119 124 129 134 138 143 148 153 158 162 167 59 94 99 104 109 114 119 124 128 133 138 143 148 153 158 163 168 173 60 97 102 107 112 118 123 128 133 138 143 148 153 158 163 168 174 179 61 100 106 111 116 122 127 132 137 143 148 153 158 164 169 174 180 185 62 104 109 115 120 126 131 136 142 147 153 158 164 169 175 180 186 191 63 107 113 118 124 130 135 141 146 152 158 163 169 175 180 186 191 197 64 110 116 122 128 134 140 145 151 157 163 169 174 180 186 192 197 204 65 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156 162 168 174 180 186 192 198 204 210 66 118 124 130 136 142 148 155 161 167 173 179 186 192 198 204 210 216 67 121 127 134 140 146 153 159 166 172 178 185 191 198 204 211 217 223 68 125 131 138 144 151 158 164 171 177 184 190 197 203 210 216 223 230 69 128 135 142 149 155 162 169 176 182 189 196 203 209 216 223 230 236 70 132 139 146 153 160 167 174 181 188 195 202 209 216 222 229 236 243 71 136 143 150 157 165 172 179 186 193 200 208 215 222 229 236 243 250 72 140 147 154 162 169 177 184 191 199 206 213 221 228 235 242 250 258 73 144 151 159 166 174 182 189 197 204 212 219 227 235 242 250 257 265 74 148 155 163 171 179 186 194 202 210 218 225 233 241 249 256 264 272 75 152 160 168 176 184 192 200 208 216 224 232 240 248 256 264 272 279 76 156 164 172 180 189 197 205 213 221 230 238 246 254 263 271 279 287

Source: Food Standards Agency

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