Body Mass Index

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Body Mass Index (BMI) has been invented by the scientist Adolphe Quetelet in the 19th Century, so it also named as Quetelet Index.

BMI is a good and easy to use clinical tool to estimate your body health status and to monitor obesity and its health risks, It depends upon Individual`s weigh and height so it can be calculated mathematically by dividing person`s weight in kilograms by the square of his or her height in meters, So the measure of BMI allows for an individual`s weight to be standardized for his or her height.

BMI =Weight in kilograms/height in meters squared.
BMI is also used to categorize people as underweight, normal, overweight, and obese.
BMI is the most common measurement for screening spread of overweight and obesity at population level.
BMI is the most common measurement of obesity. Being overweight or obese may lead to obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, lung diseases, and more. such diseases can have a direct effect on health status and can also lead to death.

BMI categories

CategoryBMI kg/m2
Very severely underweightless than 15.0
Severely underweightfrom 15.0 to 16.0
Underweightfrom 16.0 to 18.5
Normal (healthy weight)from 18.5 to 25
Overweightfrom 25 to 30
Obese Class I (Moderately obese)from 30 to 35
Obese Class II (Severely obese)from 35 to 40
Obese Class III (Very severely obese)Over 40

From information stated in the table a BMI value less than 15 is considered very severely underweight ,BMI  values from 15 to 16 are considered severely underweight, BMI values from 16 to 18.5 are considered underweight
being underweight or severely underweight may be due to malnourished and can lead to:

  • Compromised immune function.
  • Respiratory disease.
  • Digestive disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Increased risk of falls and fractures.

BMI values from 18.5 to 25 are considered normal and healthy weight and individual who has normal weight will never suffer from obesity-related illness if he or she kept his weight.
BMI values from 25 to 30 are considered overweight. BMI values from 30 to 35 are considered obese class 1, from 35 to 40 obese class 2 (severely obese), and over 40 obese class 3 (very severely obese).
Categories from over weight to very severely obese are prone to:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Cancer.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Heart disease and stroke.
  • Fatty liver Disease.
  • Gallbladder disease.
  • High blood pressure.

BMI limitations (exceptions).
For most people, BMI offers a good measure of obesity. However, BMI does not provide any indication of fat distribution nor does it measure body composition and may not be the most appropriate indicator to determine health status for certain groups of people such as:

  • pregnant.
  • under 18.
  • Bodybuilders.
  • elderly.
  • lean athletes.

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