BMI Explained

Some medical tests serve as direct diagnostic indicators of health. A blood pressure reading, for example, directly measures a body statistic that has a direct bearing on diagnosing high blood pressure conditions. 

Body mass index (BMI), on the other hand, isn’t a direct measure of health conditions, but it helps you and your medical caregivers understand certain problems for which you may or may not be at risk. Many medical symptoms are shared between diseases and conditions, and considering BMI can provide clues that permit a more accurate diagnosis of those symptoms’ origin. 

High BMI is a risk factor for many chronic conditions. Achieving a healthy BMI can often be a difficult journey to undertake on your own, but adding medical weight loss treatment to your personal health program can make that journey easier. Look to the team at Wandisan-Rosete Medical Group as partners to help achieve your weight loss goals. 

How is BMI calculated?

BMI is a simple mathematical calculation using your height and weight to give a quick assessment of your overall body load. People with high BMI numbers typically have higher levels of body fat, while those with low BMI numbers may not have enough. 

The calculation takes your weight in kilograms and divides it by your height in meters, squared. There are many tools online that will calculate your BMI using pounds and feet and inches, performing the metric calculations for you if you’re unfamiliar with those units. 

A BMI number is simply a guideline, and it doesn’t take into account factors such as bone structure, which may affect BMI enough to place a person into an inaccurate category. This has little effect on your health care, since BMI only suggests risks. 

People at the high end of the overweight classification face similar health risks to those at the low end of obesity, so there’s no benefit to refining BMI calculations to better match individual bodies. BMI is easy to use and has no cost. 

Evaluating BMI

Once we calculate your BMI number, we compare it to a simple scale. Depending on the person, BMI numbers range from 18 or below to 30 and above. There are four weight statuses used for adults. These are: 

  1. Under 18.5 = underweight
  2. 18.5 to 24.9 = healthy weight range
  3. 25 to 29.9 = overweight
  4. 30 and over = obese

The BMI for children and teens is calculated the same way, but it’s assessed differently, based on age and sex, since body fat levels change with these factors. The scale above is a guideline for those 20 years of age and over. 

Estimating body fatness

Many factors affect the accuracy of a BMI number, including race, gender, and age, to mention a few, but since BMI is a simple guideline measurement, these variances aren’t typically significant. An athlete with a lot of muscle mass could have a BMI placing them in the obese category, though they may not have health risks related to obesity. It’s important to note that you don’t receive medical treatment based on a BMI number. 

Contact Wandisan-Rosete Medical Group if you want a better understanding of what your BMI number means for your health. You can make an appointment by phone at 209-226-4308, or use the online link on this page. There’s no time like now to plan for your optimal BMI number.

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