The body mass index is an indicator to determine whether normal weight or an urgent need to take action.
The body mass index (BMI) — a value which allows to evaluate the degree of conformity of weight of the human body and its growth. The index allows to indirectly estimate whether the weight is insufficient, normal or excessive. BMI is most important in determining the indications for the need of treatment of diseases associated with obesity.
The body mass index was developed by Belgian scientist Adolphe Quetelet in the period between 1830 and 1850 during the course of his work on social physics. During the life of Quetelet its opening was only known to a narrow circle of persons. the Quetelet Index was not so popular in the first half of the 20th century. Breathed new life into it by American nutritionist Ancel Keyes, who published in 1972 an article in the journal “Chronic diseases”, which coined the concept of body mass index.
Since then this term has gained wide popularity among not only physicians, but also all those who want to lose a couple pounds and look slimmer.
The body mass index: calculation
In order to calculate the body mass index you need to divide your weight in kg by height in meters squared. The value obtained after division, is equal to the body mass index. It shows how much do you weigh: normal, insufficient, excess, or already have obesity.
The body mass index for women: Norma
For example, take the average height of a girl of 1.72 m, and the average weight was 65.3 kg. According to the formula calculation: 1,72х1,72=2,9584; 65,3:2,9584=22,07. Normal for women is the body mass index between 19 and 24, so in our example of the girl normal weight.
I should say that the body mass index is not a perfect indicator. The BMI calculation uses only data of weight and height. It does not take into account the amount of muscle and fat mass, overestimates the percentage of fat in athletes, the elderly and underestimates it in those who has less muscle mass. Besides, do not use BMI for pregnant women.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in General, BMI is a valid way to evaluate whether a weight is a threat to the health of the organism as a whole.
Why is it important to know BMI
Obesity is a chronic disease that involves the accumulation of fat and consequently the appearance of excess weight. It is associated with the incorrect use of calories and sedentary lifestyle, although an important role is also played by genetic predisposition. Obesity leads to other illnesses reduce life expectancy of the patient, and impedes normal activities.
Obesity can provoke a so-called “metabolic syndrome”, in which the risk of development of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia (alteration of levels of cholesterol and triglycerides), hypertension. In addition, some patients noted sleep apnea, impaired fertility, arthritis, and other diseases.
The body mass index for women, as for men, is the standard method for the diagnosis and classification of obesity.
In addition, of great importance in the prognosis is the type of obesity. Obesity of the upper half of the torso (chest, abdomen, waist) is a major threat to health. With increasing waist circumference more than 102 cm in men and over 88 cm in women and the relationship of waist circumference to hip circumference is more than 1.0 in men and more than 0.85 in women is a very high risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke. At the same time, obesity in the lower half of the body (buttocks and thighs) often leads to venous diseases of the legs.
However, any weight correction of relying only on BMI is strongly not recommended. But if it differs from the norm, then this is an opportunity for an additional biometric, laboratory and instrumental studies.
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