Gone are the days when you stepped on to a weighing scale to check your weight for fun and then forgot it. Today you might have to think about your weight and then decide what to eat for dinner – or whether to eat at all!
With obesity becoming a prime factor in many diseases – high BP, certain cancers, stroke, gallbladder stone, coronary heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and many more – the measurement of obesity has become very important. Obesity is measured in various sophisticated ways like underwater weighing, bio electrical impedance, skinfold thickness measurement through callipers etc. But a very convenient and inexpensive way of measuring fatness and obesity is by calculating the BMI – Body Mass Index. Here is how you do it:
Weight in kgs divided by height in metres squared
(Weight in pounds divided by square of height in inches) multiplied by 703
For example, if my weight is 70 kgs and my height is 150 cm or five feet, then my BMI I is calculated as 70/ (1.5) squared i.e. 31.1
0r 154.3lb/ (60) squared X 703 i.e. 31.1
BMI readings for adults are interpreted as follows:
Below 18.5 – Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 – Normal
25 to 29.9 – Overweight
30 and more – Obese
But don’t panic just yet. Always remember, BMI is an indicative measure and not a firm diagnostic tool. Depending on body composition, muscle mass, etc the BMI for a healthy individual could be outside the recommended normal range too. So if you are outside the recommended range, it is time to look at your diet and exercise again.