Body Mass Index (BMI)


Let’s talk about BMI today. What is BMI? Body Mass Index, BMI for short, is a measure of how your body is proportionate to your height. It is calculated by dividing the body mass in kilograms by the square of the body height in meters squared.¬† A body mass index calculator can be accessed on the internet for anyone to calculate his BMI.

The BMI value is used to estimate how far an individual adult body weight departs from what is normal compared with a person’s height. From the value of the BMI, we can tell whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Knowing one’s BMI is a good guide to health maintenance too.

In underdeveloped and poor countries, a low BMI of less than 18.5, is prevalent which may indicate malnutrition or other health problems. In other countries, a high BMI of more than 25 may indicate a society of overnourished individuals who are either overweight or obese. In developed countries, low BMI may indicate eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The following table indicates how in general, how health risk can be anticipated with the value of BMI

Health Risk BMI (kg/m2)
Risk of developing osteoporosis and nutritional deficiency syndrome. Under 18.5
Low Risk (Healthy Range). 18.5 to 25
Moderate risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. 25 to 30
High risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. Over 30

Overweight and obese individuals are associated with a 51% increase in mortality compared to normal weight persons due to a greater risk for the following diseases:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol)
  • Type 2¬† ¬†diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder disease.

The next question that arises is, ‘How do we get an ideal BMI?’

We must take control of the situation to take control of our life.

Before taking any drastic action, if your BMI is relatively high, it is advisable to get a thorough medical examination. From the results of the medical checkup and with a qualified physician’s advice and monitoring, one would be more confident in achieving success. You never know your heart or kidneys are already compromised and you cannot suddenly embark on a rough exercise protocol. If you are still medically fit, then you can make plans to change your lifestyle habits. Change your diet to eating healthy and go on morning walks, cycle or join a taichi group. Getting enough rest (sleep) is also important.

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If you are already diagnosed with any hypertension or diabetes, it is good to have a daily record of what you eat against readings from a glucometer and a blood pressure monitor. Investing in monitoring your health is a great investment for good health management.

Below are 3 links for you to explore how to improve your health or the health of loved ones with diabetes and hypertension. Simple exercises and change of diet will improve, if not reverse your diabetes and/or hypertension. Feel free to click the links below:

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reverse your high blood pressure

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12 thoughts on “Body Mass Index (BMI)”

  1. Since a BMI  calculator is online, let me quickly check things out for myself so it won’t appear that I have an opportunity to checkout my health risks and I ignored it. This is really great to see here and I really fancy every bit of this. The calculation of the BMI might really prove to be a deciding factor in whether we maintain our current lifestyle or there is a need to have a switch in whatever we engage in. Thumbs up to you for sharing

    1. Hi Rodarrick, Thank you for your comments.

      Yes, it is so easy to check your BMI. If your BMI is within the normal range, then you would be comforted that you are taking good care of your health. However, if it turns out to outside the normal range then you have to find ways to get to the normal range.

      But I am sure your BMI is in the healthy range.


  2. Someone asked me randomly that what is my BMI and I was literally dumbfounded and since then, I have taken it upon myself to make proper research into digging deeper to the knowledge embedded in it. I never even knew it is very easy to get it calculated. Thanks so much for sharing this. The latter part that addresses obese and people with an oversize body is really on pojt and you did well by enlightening us all on the need to keep fit especially for the high risk attached to the obese. Thumbs up to you

    1. hi Shelly,

      Thank you so much for your kind comments.  I wish you the best in maintaining a good BMI. A healthy person is a happy person. And the happiness will radiate to everyone around.

  3. I really enjoyed your article and took advantage of you Online BMI Calculator. It has been many years since I’ve checked it and coincidentally, it was part of a conversation I had with friends the other day. Interestingly mine came out at 28.7 which is alright for me. Well being can be a good monitor of our life style. 

    Although I could probably do with losing a stone, it’s not an issue as such, as I lead quite a healthy life. I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly ten years and the last six or seven, I have also cut out dairy. This year chocolate and sugar hit the bin also. The BMI is certainly a good indicator and should your number fall in the extreme zones it is worth following your links and taking action to remedy it.

    1. Hi Twack Romero,

      Congratulations on changing your diet to exclude chocolates and sugar. I don’t stock sugar at my house too but I do drink low-fat milk and Greek yogurt. You can lose weight gradually if you continue with your vegetarian diet by reducing the amount of food you take and add more fiber to your diet. 

      I would suggest that you see a doctor for a full medical check-up to check your blood composition and the states of your heart, kidneys, and liver functions. The medical examination would put your mind at ease and enable to check and finetune your diet.


  4. It is good for every one to know they body mass index BMI because it shows the measure of how your body is proportionate to your height as discussed in this review like it is popularly said that health is wealth so I strongly believe that if you must be wealthy you must be healthy and in turn if you must be healthy you must know the condition of your body.

    1. Hi Sparkling,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Well, I would agree that to be healthy you need to know your body. Seeking knowledge on how to maintain a healthy body, physically and mentally is of utmost priority.

      Yes, if your goal in life is to be financially stable, you need to be healthy. If you are stricken with an illness, you will spend a lot of time treating your illness and this will reduce your productivity. Therefore, it is best to invest in your health before anything else.


  5. I will like to know what are the criteria in determining the body mass index BMI and also how can some one improve hie or her body mass index BMI in the case where the person finds out the his or her body mass is low in other to gain a healthy body mass index BMI so that thy can live a healthy life

    1. Hi Mr Wite, 

      Thank you for your comments. 

      To calculate the BMI, you only need to know your weight in kilograms and your height in meters. You don’t need a calculator. Just go to the online calculator.  If you are underweight your BMI would be below 18.5. 

      Before you take any action, you may need to think about your eating habits. Are you eating a balanced diet and yet do not put on any weight? You are lucky. Maybe because you have a high metabolic rate and it is okay for you to take in more calories.

      If you are in doubt still, you may seek a doctor’s opinion as to how to increase your weight. Sometimes, you are okay with a lower BMI if your body frame is small. My article on BMI is for the general population and if you are an athlete, it may not apply.

      If the doctor advises you to add your calories to your diet, you may have to change your diet and lifestyle.

      You need to calculate your daily calorie needs based on your body size and activity. 

      I hope I have pointed you in the right direction. 


  6. I should probably check mine.. but I’m afraid to lol. I don’t have one of those calipers that they use for official testing of your Body Mass Index. Wondering if there is something else to use or if it can be estimated? Thanks for your post it reminds me that I need to take better care of myself and keep on top of things for my health.

    1. Hi riverdogg,

      Sometimes doctors don’t calculate your BMI but measure your weight circumference during the first visit and use it as a base for your future visits. So you may be encouraged to do some exercise you reduce your belly size for your next visit. Personally, if my skirt or pants get tighter on the waist, I would know it is time for a workout and time to reduce my food intake. 

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