How Obesity is Diagnosed with a BMI Calculator

How Obesity is Diagnosed with a BMI Calculator

Obesity is the accumulation of excess body fat in the body to an extent that it has a negative effect on health. Over two-thirds of adults in the country are obese, and this condition is increasing at an alarming rate among children as well. The main cause of obesity is wrong eating habits and lack of physical activities.

Being obese increases the risk of developing cancer, heart-related problems, diabetes, and other diseases. It also heightens the risk of premature death. Those who are weight conscious are familiar with the term Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator.

A BMI calculator is mostly used as a measure of obesity by physicians due to its simplicity. The Body Mass Index is calculated using a mathematical formula wherein a person’s weight in kilograms is divided by the square of height in meters. BMI has been used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a standard for recording obesity statistics since the early 1980s.

This index provides a numeric measure of whether a person is over or underweight. On the basis of the value of BMI, one can classify a population, with the average physique as follows:

  • A BMI below 18.5 is considered as underweight
  • A BMI 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy weight or normal
  • A BMI 25 to 29.9 is considered as overweight
  • A BMI 30 and over is considered as obese
  • A BMI 40 and over is considered as severe obesity

However, studies show that a BMI Calculator, which is based on the height and weight of a person, is not an entirely accurate measure of body fat content and does not consider muscle mass. So, people with large muscle mass will usually have a high BMI even though their body fat is in the healthy range. It is also possible to have a healthy BMI even while you are carrying a lot of fat around your waist. Thus, a healthy BMI doesn’t always mean good health.

BMI in Children
This index is calculated in the same way as that for adults; however, instead of comparing against a threshold value for underweight and overweight, it is compared with other children of the same age. Thereby, BMI is compared against the percentile for children of same age and sex. Thus, the following levels should be kept in mind.

  • A BMI below 5 percentile is underweight
  • BMI above 95 percentile is obese
  • A BMI between 85 and 95 percentile is overweight

As per the WHO guidelines, the country lowered the normal/overweight cut-off from 27.8 to 25. Thus, 29 million people in the country who were previously healthy were redefined to be overweight. The National Health and Nutrition Examination conducted a survey in 2014 according to which 37.7% of adults in the country were obese, out of which 35.0% were men and 40.4% were women. Also, 7.7% of men and 9.9% of women suffer from severe obesity.

Limitations of BMI
BMI depends on weight and the square of height. Since mass increases with the cube of height, taller individuals are reported to have an uncharacteristically are determined with BMI calculators.

It is also seen that people with small frames who are found to be carrying more fat than the optimal level have a BMI that reflects they are normal. Conversely, largely framed (or tall) individuals may be quite healthy, with a fairly low body fat percentage, are classified as overweight by BMI.

BMI is not entirely accurate those who are fit or athletic as their high level of muscle mass can result in them being considered overweight as per a BMI calculator even though their body fat percentages frequently fall in the 10%–15% category, which is normal.

One study has revealed that the vast majority of people who are considered overweight and obese according to current definitions of BMI, in fact, do not face any serious risk for early death.

BMI does not determine the exact location where fat is stored in our body. Accumulation of fat in the upper part of the body can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Being obese is a serious medical issue. Obese people lack the confidence to face the society. They constantly feel like being looked down upon by others. They can overcome this through their strong willpower. However, if obesity causes some medical complications then it must be taken seriously.

Through BMI calculators, we can find out whether we fall in the obese category. To achieve a healthy weight we must get involved in numerous physical activities and do regular exercise. This will help in burning the extra calories. The amount of calories burnt depends on the type, duration, and intensity of the activity too.

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and dieting alone won’t help. Weight loss gained by dieting combined with regular exercise results in a healthy weight and toned body.

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