Should you be relying on BMI calculators or not?

Body Mass Index is one of the most popular and widely used measurements to measure a person’s health based on that individual’s height and weight. However, multiple researchers who studied calculating body health based on physical appearance indicated that this way of determining a person’s health is not correct. Read on to know whether BMI is an accurate health predictor.

Body Mass Index, the full form of BMI, is a health calculator that defines whether or not your body is healthy. Depending on your body size, weight, and height, your BMI is determined and whether you are healthy. But, to answer whether BMI is an accurate predictor of health or not- it is not. Some may still believe in the BMI calculator, and how it works, it is impossible to determine a person’s health based on the calculation.

What is a BMI calculator?

BMI calculator is an age-old go-to measurement for your health based on your physical appearances, like height and weight. This calculator was developed by a Belgian mathematician & statistician- Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, in the year 1832.

It was designed to quickly estimate the degree of obesity and overweight in the given population. He developed the BMI calculator to help the government decide where to allocate financial and health resources. He also stated that this method is not used to determine an individual’s health; instead, it is used to establish the whole population’s health. Nevertheless, it is still widely used to determine an individual’s health.

How is the BMI calculator being used?

Doctors still use BMI measurements as their screening tool to determine what category you fall into, depending on the calculation. This method can help the doctors understand better if you are at risk of health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. While BMI may be an affordable, quick, and easily accessible way to check your health, the formula is best suited for gaining detailed information about the general population, according to Stanford.

But BMI does not measure body fat distribution. Hence, calling it a calculator that calculates health will not be valid. One of the most important factors when it comes to considering overall health is where exactly the body fat is located specifically. BMI does not include that factor in its total calculation.

Fat around the midsection, upper body fat, as well as visceral fat, which is also known as the fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity & around several vital organs, that includes the stomach, liver, and intestine. The fat in these organs is more likely to cause major health issues like cardiovascular diseases. The body fat that is stored in the lower body parts of the body tends to cause less severe health conditions as compared to body fat in the upper body.

How is BMI calculated?

The estimation of your body fat that comes by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared, which is BMI= kg/m2 is the formula for BMI calculation. The results that come after applying this formula are what your BMI score is. Your BMI score will determine whether you are obese, overweight, normal, or underweight.

Your BMI score will determine whether you are:

  • Obese if your BMI score ranges anything above 30
  • Overweight if your BMI score ranges from 25-29.9
  • Normal if your BMI score ranges from 18.5 to 24.9
  • Underweight if your BMI score ranges less than 18.5

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