The Body Mass Index (or BMI) is a simple calculation to see if your weight is appropriate for your height. Its best to understand what the index means in relation to your body size, and for that its best you use a BMI chart.
BMI charts calculate whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Health insurance companies in the USA typically only cover weight loss surgery for individuals who are morbidly obese although significant health benefits can be found for those who are obese and struggling to control their weight.
As BMI is based on weight and height, by losing weight you will reduce your BMI and put yourself into a lower risk group. A healthy diet, including a balance of food groups, vitamins and minerals, is essential for a long and active life. Keeping it simple, body weight and shape are a balance of energy intake (dietary calorific content) against output (calorific burn from activity & exercise).
You can use the graphic below for men and women to help visualize the body mass index. With a BMI over 25 you are overweight. Many people may only notice they are overweight when their clothes get tighter – by then the excess weight you’re carrying will already have silently started to damage your blood vessels, hormone system and joints, raising your risk of diseases such as:
Although you may feel no different, you need to take action whilst the effects of being overweight can be reversed more easily – you need to gently reduce your calorific intake and increase your activity level. Crash diets don’t work – you need to change your lifestyle. Even slight changes make a difference – two less chocolate biscuits, or one less glass of wine a day can lose you 5lb in fat during the year. Simply parking the car at the far end of the car park or using the stairs instead of the lift will over time make a noticeable difference.