Your Guide to Healthy Lifestyle
Do I have a normal and healthy body weight? Or am I underweight, overweight or obese? Let’s use the BMI as a guideline to know your weight status.
Body mass index (BMI) shows the ratio of weight and height of a person. It can be determined using the equation below:
Below shows the classification of BMI according to World Health Organization (WHO) standard.
Is BMI suitable for everyone?
BMI reflects the height and weight measure but not the body composition. Body composition is the proportions of muscle, bone, fat and other tissue that make up body weight. So, BMI may not be applicable to certain group of people. For example: body builders or athlete with dense bone and well developed muscle maybe classified as overweight by BMI but, they are not over fat. On the other hand, inactive people may have normal weight but too much of fat. Besides that, BMI for pregnant mother, infant and children should be interpreted separately by using their own graph and classification.
What is the health risks associated with BMI?
If you are underweight, but enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle, then it is all right. Nevertheless, it may indicate some health problem if you are underweight because of malnutrition, smoking habits, substance abuse, or illness. It may also indicate infertility, osteoporosis, menstrual irregularity or early symptom of an eating disorder.
If you are overweight or obese, it is considered as less healthy. The higher the BMI, the greater risk of a person will get weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, breathing problem etc.
Lai Huey Qin
B. Sc Dietetics, UPM