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Body Mass Index Table

Body Mass Index or BMI is a tool for indicating the weight of the body according to the scale of height. The BMI is measured to calculate the body fat i.e to determine whether the person is underweight, normal, overweight or obese. The Body Mass Index is calculated by following method:

BMI= Weight (Kg)/ Height2 (m2)

The BMI for all possible heights and all possible weights are calculated and depicted in  a chart, which is commonly known as Body Mass Index Table. This is an easier method to determine BMI and decide the body contour of a person with height and weight measured. The unit for BMI is kg/m2. In this chart the weight is placed in the horizontal axis and the height is placed in the vertical axis, while the contour lines are used for different values. The different section of body contour is indicated with different types of colors in the BMI table.

BMI has more or less universal values. According to the universally accepted measures by medical persons the BMI between 18.5 to 25 indicates the optimal weight, while below 18.5 is indicative of underweight and a number above 25 suggests that the person is overweight. Anything below 18.5 and over 25 is extreme condition. BMI above 30 is indicative to obesity, over 40 denotes morbidly obesity and BMI below 17.5 is the sign of anorexia.

For a fixed height the BMI is proportional to weight while for a given shape and body density the BMI is proportional to height. BMI Table is used to determine how much an individual’s body is departed from the normal weight or what should be the ideal weight of a person in his/ her particular height. The body fat or adipose tissue mainly affects the BMI though there are also other factors like muscularity that has significant effect on BMI. Human BMI rank along the index from around 15 (near starvation) to over 40 (fatally obese). The BMI can be broadly divided into many statistical categories like underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese and morbidly obese.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) a BMI less than 18.5 is indicative of underweight and may suggest of malnutrition, eating disorder or other health disorders. The BMI also have different values for adults and  children. There is also international variation of BMI. In case of South east Asian body types the threshold values of underweight and overweight should be reduced from what is normal according to American and Indian scale. BMI is also indicative of many diseases like heart disease and other health problems like diabetes etc.

There are also limitations of using BMI table. BMI is dependent on net weight and height but it is very simplistic assumption about distribution of muscles and bone mass and thus might overestimate or underestimate adiposity with more lean body mass as in case of athletes or elderly persons. Error in BMI is very significant in case of evaluation of health evaluation. BMI Table does not take in account many factors like muscularity and body size etc.



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