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Body Mass Index

statistical measure which compares a person's weight and height and to estimate a healthy body weight

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It's Healthy to Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

  • Apr 8, 2010
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the ways to determine when extra pounds translate into health risks. BMI is a measure which takes into account a person’s weight and height to gauge total body fat in adults. According to the BMI the healthy weight target for everyone is between 19 and 24.  Smeone with a BMI of 26 to 27 is about 20 percent overweight, which is generally believed to carry moderate health risks. A BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems.

Heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are all linked to being overweight. A BMI of 30 and over increases the risk of death from any cause by 50 to 150 percent, according to some estimates. According to health experts, people who are overweight but have no other health risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) should eat healthier and exercise to keep from gaining additional weight. For people who are overweight and also have health risks, they recommend trying to actively lose weight. Be sure to consult your doctor or other health professional before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program.

Obviously, the Body Mass Index is not the end-all-be-all for your health status, but it can be a good quick indicator of where your stand with your weight. Note that many with a muscular build tend to have too high of the BMI scale.

Below are just a few 'celebrities' and their BMI.  To calculate your BMI number, go to Calculate Your BMI

If you must know, I now have a BMI of 24.  For the past few years I'd been hovering just over 25.  I stepped up my healthy eating and exercise to get me down to 24.  I plan to be below 25 from now on.  Good luck to you in your quest of a BMI  under 25.

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April 12, 2010
Thanks for sharing, Clay! I agree with you that one's BMI shouldn't be the end-all-be-all for one's health status. I kind of look at it somewhat like the horoscope -- good to know, but I'm not going to base my life off of it. That said, I'm slightly underweight according to the BMI, but not as bad as Nicole Richie!
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Quick Tip by . June 15, 2011
A quick and easy way to discover whether you are fit as a fiddle, a bit chunky or God forbid grossly overweight. There are lots of BMI available online. I discovered that I am just a tad overweight right now but I have been working at it and hope to bring that down into the normal range for the first time in decades. Check it out! It doesn't hurt.
About the reviewer
Clay Miller ()
Ranked #51
Graphic designer/illustrator and owner of Miller Creative Designs, LLC who on Lunch.com likes to shareinsight on Greenand health insight, ideas and other tidbits.Creator/writer of Ways2GoGreen .com& … more
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The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a statistical measure which compares a person's weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat it is used to estimate a healthy body weight based on a person's height. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problems within a population, usually whether individuals are underweight, overweight or obese.

It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height. BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colors for different BMI categories.

While the formula for BMI dates to the 19th century, the term "body mass index" for the ratio and its popularity date to a 1972 paper by Ancel Keyes, which found the BMI to be the best proxy for body fat percentage among ratios of weight and height; the interest in measuring body fat being due to obesity becoming a discernible issue in prosperous Western societies. BMI was explicitly cited by Keys as being appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis. Nevertheless, due to its simplicity, it came to be widely used for ...
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