What is BMI?
BMI, body mass index, is a measure of relative mass based on your height and weight. It is calculated by dividing your weight by your height. It does not however measure your body fat.
As you can see above, the Chart is color-coded. The greens are the ideal BMI, the blue means that one is underweight and malnourished, while the yellows are overweight and borderline obese, oranges are obese, and the reds are the no-go (extreme) obese areas.
Other Charts use different colors to differentiate each area. I guess the colors are merely to make it easier to read. Though I didn’t find a non-color coded chart, it doesn’t mean that the Chart has to be color-coded.
Why BMI today?
I recently had a medical, I mean the whole shebang from height to weight to urine and blood works, with the urine and blood being tested for a variety of other things. It was a relief as the overall result returned better than I had imagined; except for one.
According to the test, my BMI is borderline obese, unhealthy, and I need to lose 40 lbs! Who me? Lose 40 lbs? Yes, you! Couldn’t be! At this age? What would become of me and my skin; oh, I meant my body? We all need some fat on, right? I hope I get some folks to agree with me on that.
Well, brings me to the question, is BMI correct?
My answer is, I doubt it. What’s your answer?
I had changed to a pescatarian diet within the past year and the change reflected in the overall positive results when compared to results from my medicals a year prior. For example, my A1C, which is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels, also went down by 0.6% compared to last year’s. Could use a little lower to keep it within normal range. If I lose 40 lbs, and get my A1C down by at least another 0.3-0.6%, it will be worth it. But, I’m sure that I don’t have to lose that much to achieve the result. You’ll hardly be able to find me and or would think that I’m malnourished and extremely unhealthy should I succeed in losing all of 40 lbs. Well, just my thoughts. So why do physicians use the BMI? BMI doesn’t even measure fat, the sole culprit for obesity.
I’ve always had a problem with every doctor I’ve had when it comes to BMI. The BMI Chart is used for everyone; male and female, black, white, Asians, Samoans, Hispanics, etc., tall or short, large bones and normal bones, etc. How can it be a one-hat-fits-all medical mantra? BMI does not take into consideration that our body types are genetically and racially different.
I heard that the best way of telling if you’re overweight is to measure your waistline. If your waistline is over 35 for women and 37 for men, you are overweight.
Another way is to divide your height by 2. Your waistline should be less than half your height. For example, if you are 5 foot 8, or 68 inches, your waist circumference should be less than 34 inches. Both methods have the same issues that I have with the BMI. However, it is worth using and taking as a recommendation but not the ideal.
I don’t even know my waistline. I don’t have a measuring tape. The last time I had some dresses made for me, the tailors used different techniques to measure my waistline, so I don’t know who was right and wrong. But now that I am aware, I’ll get myself a tape and start paying attention.
A healthy lifestyle is ideal for us all. It’s what we all should live for. It’s a combination of our diet and exercise regimens. If diet is nutritious and healthy, and exercise is regular, both will be in sync and excess weight should not be an issue, right? But not necessarily. Bone density and size which are genetically, racially, and gender predisposed often will skew the weight and BMI. So, what do we do?
Why worry? Keep eating nutritious healthy meals, exercise at least 30 minutes a day at least three days a week, rest, sleep well, smile or laugh to work those mouth and face muscles, be happy, and leave the rest.
Remember though that being overweight or obese is a health risk associated with health issues like heart blockages, diabetes, cardiac arrests, stroke, hypertension, etc. The thought of these health risks alone should spur us all to a healthier lifestyle and lose all the weight that we can.
I’ll love to lose some weight but not 40 lbs. I have lost 9 lbs within the year and will be content with about 10-12 lbs more in a year. But, I still refuse to allow BMI as a yardstick for my height-weight balance. I know myself better. How about you? All thoughts, positive and negatives regarding BMI, are welcome.
Do you know what your BMI is? Use the above Chart or find out from this interactive calculator and let us know if you’re satisfied with the result.
I hope you’re enjoying your weekend 😍