Monday, March 08, 2010

Body Mass Index ~ Some facts

Fact 1.Quite alarmingly the United Nations World Health Organization which is administered from Geneva in Switzerland has stated that there is a world wide epidemic ~ or should that be pandemic as 300 plus million adults and countless children are affected? ~ suffer from obesity in some form or another.

Fact 2.. Obesity affects both the under-developed or Third World as well as the affluent nations.

Fact 3.. Obesity affects your health and leads to such diseases as hypertension - high blood pressure - coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, ischemic stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and many others.

Fact 4.. BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated from a person's height and weight. For most people is a reasonably reliable indicator of obesity or body fat.

Fact 5.. BMI is inexpensive and easy to establish.

Fact 6. BMI can be used to help screen weight categories that could lead to health problems although it is NOT a diagnostic tool. When established by a person him or herself an excessive should trigger alarm bells that should prompt a consultation with a health professional.

Fact 7.. The American Centre for Disease Control uses BMI to measure obesity.

Fact 8.. The formula for a simple calculation of BMI is Weight divided by Height in Metres squared. Mine would be : 95 ÷ (1.75 x 1.75) = 31.05 which, as we saw in an earlier Article is not that accurate but is accurate enough to warn me that I must take action. My own preferred and luckily available method is bio-electrical impedance.

Fact 9.. Ideally BMI should be used in conjunction with the less available and far more expensive though more accurate measurements gained from such methods as skinfold thickness measurements (with calipers), underwater weighing, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and isotope dilution.

Fact 10.. As your BMI falls within the following parameters your weight status may be understood. If your BMI =

18.5 or less = You are underweight.
18.5 to 24.9 = You are normal.
25 to 29.9 = you are overweight.
30 or more = you are obese.

Please Note.. The BMI is calculated exactly the same for both adults and teens but the analysis for teens is different and is outside the parameters of this series of articles although the plan I am using works well for both. You should take professional guidance for your teens to first establish whether or not they are overweight.

If I have done what I intended to do and you have now decided that you, or your spouse, or your kids are overweight to a greater or lesser degree, the time has come to ask yourself the question: "What now? How do I do something effective about it? I've tried diets and milk shakes; I've starved myself half to death; I've exercised until I nearly had a heart attack. What do I do?

The next step it to visit my Information Site and have a look at how I am doing it. Click here!

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