BMI: Measure Body Weight

Editorial Team
Weight ManagementWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Jan 16, 2013
BMI: Measure Body Weight

Measure Body WeightThe most preferred method to determine overweight and obesity issues in adults is BMI – Body Mass Index. Though the BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat, it may be a useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on the height of the person.


[Read: What is the Healthy BMI for Pregnancy?]


BMI is a key index for relating weight to height, a person’s weight in kilograms (kgs) is divided by their height in meter square (m2)


        BMI = kg / m2 
BMI                    Status  

Below 18.5    Underweight
18.5 – 24.9   Normal
25 – 29.9      Overweight
30 – 34.9      Obese
35 – 39.9      Severe Obesity
         > 40    Morbid Obesity


Waist hip ratio


It is the ratio circumference of the waist to that of the hips. It is calculated by measuring the smaller circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button and divided by the hip circumference at its widest part of the buttocks or hip. Waist hip ratio has been found to be a more efficient predictor of mortality in older people than waist circumference or BMI. 


Waist hip ratios of 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men have been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. In women, each 0.1 increase in the waist-hip ratio has been associated with a 28 percent relative increase in mortality rate (the number of deaths per 100 older adults per year).


Waist circumference


Waist circumference is considered by many to be a better indicator of health risk than BMI. Waist Circumference can be useful for those people categorized as normal or overweight in terms of BMI. (For example, an athlete with increased muscle mass may have a BMI greater than 25 - making him or her overweight on the BMI scale - but a Waist Circumference measurement would most likely indicate that he or she is, in fact, not overweight). Changes in waist circumference over time can indicate an increase or decrease in abdominal fat. Waist circumference should be measured at a level midway between the lower rib margin and iliac crest with the tape all around the body in horizontal position.


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