What is my BMI?  How can I find my BMI? How can my BMI affect my health? Why is my BMI important to me?  

BMI refers to your Body Mass Index as a way to help determine if your have a healthy amount of fat on your body for a person of your height and weight.  Given you height, the scale, by itself, is not necessarily the best measure of your body composition.  The BMI measurement gives a more accurate summary because it indicates the amount of body fat that is included in your weight.

BMI Limitations

As a single measure, BMI has limitation to its benefits.  But it is a good place to start looking for significant conditions that can become more important when a person is overweight or obese.   While it is a good idea to know your BMI, it's also important to know its limitations.

However, it is important to remember that BMI is based on averages.  We all have distinctive characteristics that are unique to us as individuals.  Some people have larger bone structure or more muscle mass than someone else. The results shown by BMI are indicators of the amount of fat on your body. 

In other words, BMI measures may be more accurate for one person than another.  In general, the measures are helpful when applied to an entire population.

Noting the chart above, find the column across the top (weight) nearest to your actual weight, then come down that column to the row (height, on the left side of the chart) which most closely indicates your height.  Where the column intersects with the row is your indicated BMI. 

Origion of BMI Data

Who decided what data to use when creating the BMI chart?  The charts come from actuarial statistics, calculations the life insurance companies use to determine the likelihood of your living to an advanced age based on data from thousands of people.

These charts are cumbersome to use, and it is sometimes difficult to determine how to decide if a person's frame size is small, medium, or large.  

BMI shows the relationship between your height and weight as a single number that is not dependent on your frame size.  While the origin of the BMI is over 200 years old, it is relatively new as a measure of health.

 BMI that is normal is between 18.5 and 25.  A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered to be overweight.  A person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

Let's remember, our health is our most valuable asset.  Why not guard it carefully!

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