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Body Mass Index BMI

BMI or Body Mass Index is one of the indicators of a person's overall health condition. The BMI chart must not be viewed in isolation but along with the person's age, lifestyle and other related issues. A BMI calculator helps you check if your weight falls within acceptable limits for your height.BMI is calculated with an adult's body weight and height.

BMI calculation can help you take stock of your weight vis--vis your height. A high BMI is usually associated with health hazards. Heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure can usually be traced to obesity. A BMI index or score can help you gauge whether your weight is in a healthy range or whether you are overweight. Suitable diet alterations, lifestyle changes and exercise regimen can then be undertaken. Body fat and BMI differs with age and gender. Women are more predisposed to higher percentage of body fat when compared with men for the same BMI.


BMI cannot be used as the only indicator for total body fat since it may overestimate the body fat in athletes and those with a muscular build. Such persons have a high BMI due to increased muscle mass. Similarly women who are pregnant or lactating tend to have an increased BMI. Healthy BMI figures for children and young people are different from those for adults. You must use a separate BMI scale to calculate the score for a growing child.

Bmi Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 24.9 Normal
25.0 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

The BMI percentile chart is used to plot the BMI index for kids. This percentile is effective in comparing the child's BMI against kids of the same age and gender. A BMI in the 75th percentile means that your child's BMI is 75th when compared to 100 typical kids of the same age and gender.

1. BMI less than 5th percentile: Underweight
2. BMI between 5th and 85th percentile: Healthy weight
3. BMI greater than 85th percentile: At risk of being overweight
4. BMI greater than 95th percentile: Overweight

Obesity

Obesity is a condition where a person has much greater body weight than is healthy. A person is said to be obese when he has a BMI above 30. When there is a BMI of 40 and more, it is morbid obesity. The world statistics show that there has been an alarming rise of nearly 50% in the number of obese adults. Another disturbing trend is the increase in the number of obese adolescents. Obesity occurs due to eating too much food coupled with lack of exercise. Sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor eating habits are most often to blame for obesity. A diet that includes processed foods, trans fat and too much alcohol will make a person overweight. Other factors contributing to obesity are stress, depression, medications, illness and emotional problems. Emotional comfort eating can pile on the weight.


Medical conditions such as Cushings' Syndrome and PCOS can lead to obesity. In some cases, hypothyroidism might be the cause for weight gain. Medications like antidepressants can lead to added weight. Health problems that can arise due to obesity are heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. Obesity can be tackled by checking if there is any underlying medical condition. When dealing with an obese person, thyroid test and endocrine tests are done. Embark on a weight management program after checking with your health professional or nutritionist. A healthy body weight is a combination of exercise and good nutrition. Extreme diets and fad diets only worsen the condition by leading to yo-yo weight and improper nutrition. Weight that is lost by very low calorie diets is not permanent and has disastrous consequences.


Metabolically Healthy Obese

Metabolically Healthy Obese or MHO refers to those who classify as overweight or obese by BMI but do not suffer any metabolic abnormalities. In spite of being significantly overweight, they exhibit normal cholesterol levels, healthy blood pressure levels and no signs of diabetes.


MHO persons are obese but with favorable metabolic profile. They are a subgroup of obese persons but whose fat accumulation has not led to adverse metabolic effects such as insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia and impaired glucose tolerance. They do not exhibit the typical metabolic red flags that nearly always accompany obesity. Studies show that most persons who are metabolically healthy obese might be in a transient state heading down the road to metabolic disturbances if they do not make lifestyle changes.


The healthy obese tend to carry their fat in the subcutaneous layer, where it is not so harmful. It was also noticed that they did not have fatty livers thereby maintaining normal metabolic health. Do not confuse the metabolically healthy obese with those suffering from lipodystrophy – lack of fat cells. They might appear lean and sans fat, but they are most likely to have fatty livers and ectopic fat.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: May 25, 2019