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How To Calculate Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index  (BMI) is also called Quetelet Index. It is a statistical method of measuring the weight and height ratio of a person. The method was invented between 1830 and 1850 by a Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet while he was developing Social Physics.

Method to calculate Body Mass Index

There is a definite method to calculate the Body Mass Index. It is calculated by dividing individual’s body weight by the square of height. The formula is universally accepted by the medical practitioners. The unit used in this case is kg/m2 . There is another method to accurately calculate the Body Mass Index by using the following formulae:

In SI units, the BMI=weight (kg)/Height2 (m2)

In US customary units, BMI=703 x weight (lb)/Height2 (in2)

In Imperial units, BMI=6.35 x weight (stone)/Height2 (m2)

Determination of Body Mass Index

BMI can be determined by using BMI chart, too. BMI chart displays the BMI as the function of weight and height. The weight is placed in the horizontal axis while the height is placed on the horizontal axis and weight is placed in the vertical axis. The contour lines are used to show different values of BMI and different colours are used to show different BMI categories.

The use of Body Mass Index as a measure to calculate the body mass became very popular during 1950s and 1960s. Since obesity became the main concern of a large number of people in the western world, they used to start using BMI as the numeric measure to assess how fat or thin the person is. The health-professionals took measure and the overweight or underweight problems were discussed in a more general way using a common tool. However, certain questions raised against using the BMI chart as the standard measure of body mass. But BMI was never used to diagnose medically by using the numerical authority. It is mainly used to classify physically inactive individuals according to their average body composition. The current value settings for the BMI is as  follows: A BMI between 18.5 to 25 suggests optimal weight, while a BMI lower than 18.5 indicates that the person is underweight while the BMI number above 25 denotes that the person is overweight. The BMI below 17.5 means the person has anorexia or related type of disorder while the numerical above 30 means the person is obese and above 40 indicates towards morbidly obesity.

For a given height the BMI is proportional to weight. When body weight is increased by fifty percent the BMI is also increased by same percentage. When the body shape and given density is fixed, the BMI is proportional to the height of an individual. Thus the taller people have higher BMI while the shorter people have lower BMI. This indicates that taller people are not just scaled up over the shorter individuals but they have a tendency to have a narrower body frames in proportion to their heights.

The BMI is not always universal. In different races of human being the body frame varies and accordingly the BMI implies to differently.



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