The Pros and Cons of the Body Mass Index, Understand the BMI Formula, and Deciding if it's Right for You

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If you are researching ways in which to lose weight or how to tone your body you no doubt have heard the phrase “body mass index”. But do you understand what it is or how this not-so-magical body mass index formula is figured?

First, body mass index is the standardized ratio of one’s weight squared to their height. This ratio is one way to help determine whether one is underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese. Most normal weight adults have a Body Mass Index Formula, also known as a BMI, of 18.5 to 24.9.

Next, one may be wondering how this formula is figured. Simply put, your weight is divided by the square of your height. But don’t fear if you are not good in math. There are many tools that can help you figure this such as online calculators and even automatic calculators that are built into everyday scales; all you have to do is input your height prior to being weighed.

Some question the reasoning behind figuring one’s body mass index score. They fear it can lead to eating disorders, exercising to the extreme and emotional as well as self image problems. No doubt, these problems can come into play.

But many doctors can also use this tool as a way to tell if patients are more at risk at developing certain diseases, such as diabetes, because of their weight and the amount of body mass they have. Many doctors will offer advice to their patients with a body mass index of 25 or more such as increasing their exercise routine, or starting one, and cutting back on some of the unnecessary calories they intake daily. At the same time, most doctors are aware of the fact that muscular people will have a greater BMI just because their muscles weigh more than traditional fat does and that generally speaking most older people have lesser muscle mass.

Should a regular person use the body mass index formula as a tool to evaluate his or her weight and the amount of total body mass (fat) he or she has? If that person can be sensible, sort of like a doctor or a fitness coach can, and not idealistic than yes.

If you need help figuring out your BMI or would like to read more about it, check out this site: https://www.nytimes.com/ref/health/bmi.html.