BMI Calculator: Body Mass Index

May 21, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Health Calculators

Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a universally accepted method of calculating fatness. BMI is a calculation which determines what your weight is relevant to your height. While it is debated by some professionals, as to where the boundaries between normal and overweight, and overweight versus obese.

What is Body Mass Index?

The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a measure of relative weight based on an individual’s mass and height.

= \frac{\text{mass}(\text{lb})}{\left(\text{height}(\text{in})\right)^2}\times 703

Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet came up with the BMI calculation between 1830 and 1850 by the during the course of developing “social physics”, it is defined as the individual’s body mass divided by the square of their height – with the value universally being given in units of weight divided by height x 703.

It is a simple method used to determine fatness compared to a norm of what people of a certain height should weigh. However, the debate that remains is at what number is a person overweight and at what number is a person obese? The debate over these thresholds result in endless debate about the usefulness of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measuring tool.

What is the normal BMI?

The following seem to be the generally accepted BMIs.
According to the World Health Organization these are the BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5 – increased health risks
  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9 – least health risks
  • Overweight = 25–29.9 – increased health risk
  • Obesity 1 = BMI of 30 – 34.9 – high health risk
  • Obesity II = BMI of 35.0 – 39,9 – very high health risk
  • Obese Class III = BMI of 40.0 or more – extremely high health risk

Excess weight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and gallbladder disease. There is no consistent evidence that being overweight increases risk factors, the risk factors seem to apply to obese, and more so with increases in obesity.

Obesity: A National Problem

Obesity is a growing epidemic.

According to Stats Canada “From 2005 to 2008, the percentage of men aged 18 to 24 who were overweight or obese increased significantly from 35% to 49%.

The proportion of senior women classified as overweight or obese increased from 63% in 2004 to 70% in 2008. The percentage of senior men in this category also rose over the same periods, but the change was not statistically significant.”

Compared to the US we are doing better. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that ” Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight, including obesity: 69.0% (2011-2012)”.

DISCLAIMER: The assessments are intended to help you determine if further assessment is necessary. These assessment tools have been provided for information only. The information contained in these resources does not constitute and should not be relied on as professional advice. Wellness Connection does not predict outcomes, or accept liability for the success of any of the materials presented in videos or on this website.

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