About Body Mass Index and Things You Need to Know

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About Body Mass Index and Things You Need to Know
About Body Mass Index and Things You Need to Know

Body mass index (BMI) is used to determine weight categories by comparing weight and height. Learn how to calculate BMI, weight classification based on BMI, and the advantages and disadvantages of this method

Body mass index (BMI) numbers are used to indicate weight categories. Through BMI, you can find out whether your weight status is in the normal, excess, or underweight category.

About Body Mass Index and What You Need to Know - Alodokter

How to Calculate Body Mass Index

The calculation of body mass index can be done with an ideal weight calculator, by dividing the body weight in kilograms and the height in meters squared. Here is the formula:

Body mass index (BMI)=weight (kg): height (m)²

For some people, the body mass index value may not be accurate, for example a pregnant woman or a bodybuilding athlete. This means that even if their BMI is above normal, it doesn't mean they have excess fat.

Weight Classification Based on Body Mass Index

According to WHO, the calculation of BMI is divided into four categories, namely:

  • Obesity=BMI equal to or above 30
  • Overweight=BMI between 25–29, 9
  • Normal weight=BMI between 18.5–24, 9.
  • Weight below normal=BMI under 18.5

As for the Asian population, including Indonesia, the BMI grouping is as follows:

  • Obesity=BMI greater than or equal to 25
  • Overweight=BMI between 23-24, 9
  • Normal weight=BMI between 18.5-22, 9
  • Weight below normal=BMI under 18.5

Unfortunately, the figures above are less accurate when applied to people with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. Body mass index figures also do not represent those who are extremely obese.

Don't Rely Too Much on Body Mass Index

BMI can indeed be used as a benchmark so that someone is more aware of their weight. However, relying too much on these numbers is also not good.

The following are reasons why you should not rely on body mass index:

  • Does not consider other factors, such as age, gender, genetics, lifestyle, and medical history
  • Assuming all weights are the same, thus ruling out the possibility that someone has a higher muscle mass than others, for example athletes
  • Does not consider fat distribution in the human body. In fact, the location of fat in the body can identify whether a person is he althy or not.
  • Causing weight bias and often ignoring more serious medical problems
  • The body mass index value is not the same for the entire human population in the world

However, body mass index can still be considered to prevent the risk of disease. If you have a BMI above normal, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Meanwhile, if your BMI is below normal, you are at risk for indigestion and osteoporosis.

The Importance of Maintaining Weight

Despite all the shortcomings, the calculation of the body mass index can be a reminder for you to maintain your weight. By having a normal weight, there are several benefits that you can get, including:

  • Can do more activities due to higher stamina
  • Blood circulation in the body is more efficient and smooth
  • The body is easier to manage fluids
  • Better sleep patterns and quality
  • The work of the heart will be lighter
  • Risk of heart disease, diabetes, gallstone disease, respiratory disorders, and cancer decreases

Considering the many advantages of having an ideal body weight, knowledge about body mass index is still worth maintaining.

Also make sure you have a he althy diet and exercise regularly. If you have weight problems and have difficulty managing or achieving your ideal weight, you can consult a doctor for advice and appropriate treatment.

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