If you are overweight, your BMI is something you should know. BMI stands for body mass index and it is used by the medical community to determine if you are underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. This number is calculated by using your height and your weight and gives you an approximation of your body fat percentage. Your BMI becomes particularly important when discussing weight loss options with your doctor. Some prescription diet pills, such as Phentermine, and some weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, are only considered if your BMI is 30 or above. Your BMI can tell you a lot about your chances of developing weight-related health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
For the most part, you only have to be concerned about your weight and health if your BMI is under 18.5 or above 25. A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight and above 25 is considered overweight to obese. If you have too little or too much body fat, you are going to have medical problems. Though you often think of BMI in terms of determining if someone is too heavy, you can be too thin as well. The saying that you can never be ‘too thin or too rich’ is actually wrong. Those who are underweight may find organs beginning to fail and women may stop menstruating.
When calculating BMI, there are a few things that you have to take into consideration. The formula for body mass index is not totally perfect. It does not take muscle size or your frame size into consideration. While it will still be close, those with a lot of muscle or those that have a larger frame than most may have a number that is a bit off. Take that into consideration when you look over your number. You may be healthier than your BMI suggests.
You may not know it, but your BMI could signal more than just problems with your weight. You may not have too many problems if your BMI suggests that you are underweight, but some insurance companies are refusing to cover some people with high numbers. The theory is that obesity is expensive to them, and it is something that is under a person’s control. In order to be covered by some companies, you must lower your BMI to a certain amount.
Your BMI can estimate your health risk to a point, but remember that it does differ from men to women. There is a healthy amount of fat that the body is supposed to carry. For women, the percentage is a bit higher than for men. If you go to your doctor to discuss your BMI and the changes that you should make to your life in regards to your body fat, they can easily take those differences into consideration where as a standard BMI calculator may not.
To calculate an estimate of your BMI, please visit BMI Calculator.