Body Mass Index (BMI) is an inexpensive method to determine if an individual is at a healthy weight for their height. BMI is not a direct measurement of body fat, but research suggests that it is moderately correlated with other direct measurements of body fat such as: skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, underwater weighing, and several other methods. In general, the higher an individual’s BMI, the more body fat the individual has. Because BMI is correlated with body fat measurements, it is a typically used as a screening tool for an individual’s risk of metabolic syndrome and heart health problems.
BMI is interpreted using standard weight categories for adults 20 years of age and older. The categories are general for men and women of all body types and ages.
|18.5-24.9||Normal or Healthy Weight|
|30.0 and above||Obese|
In some instances, athletes may have a high BMI due to muscularity rather than increased body fat. A trained healthcare provider should perform appropriate follow-up assessments in order to evaluate an individual’s health status and risks.
Maintaining a healthy weight has other benefits than simply fitting into your clothes more comfortably including:
- Fewer joint and muscle pains
- More energy and greater ability to participate in activities
- Better regulation of bodily fluids and blood pressure
- Reduced burden on your heart and circulatory system
- Better sleep patterns
- Reductions in blood triglycerides, blood glucose, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Reduced risk for heart disease and certain cancers
To reach or maintain a healthy BMI, consider incorporating daily physical activity and following a heart healthy diet. day, you significantly reduce your risk of developing.