Understanding BMI

Understanding BMI and How it Impacts Health

What is BMI and why does it matter? Well, BMI or Body Mass Index is a formula that indicates high body fat levels. It screens for many health problems. Patients with a BMI over a certain number may be at a higher risk of health complications. Additionally, BMI helps determine if you are eligible for bariatric surgery.

What is BMI?

Body mass index is a measurement that determines whether a person is at a healthy weight, underweight, or overweight. It is typically used in the diagnosis of obesity. More specifically, BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in meters).

While it is a good indicator, BMI is not a direct measure of someone’s body fat. Instead, it measures the body weight relative to their height. Consequently, this gives medical professionals a quick, easy, and relatively accurate indication of body fat. therefor they can predict certain diseases.

Using BMI

BMI is not used by itself to make a diagnosis, but it is a helpful tool and accurate predictor of diseases like obesity and diabetes. To calculate your BMI, you need your weight and height. You can calculate it here.

Understanding the Results understanding BMI

What do your results mean? Well, a lean, or underweight person may have a BMI of 18.5 or less. Whereas a BMI of 25 is considered overweight. The higher the BMI, the higher the risk of health conditions. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, muscular athletes may have a higher BMI even though they don’t have excess body fat. This occurs because the BMI calculation uses a person’s total body weight, which includes muscle mass and other tissues, in addition to body fat. Furthermore, BMI for children and teens is calculated differently.

BMI and Bariatric Surgery Eligibility

To be eligible for weight loss surgery, you must have a BMI of 35 or higher, or a BMI of 30-35 with an obesity related condition such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

Learn More About BMI

If you would like to learn more about BMI and how it impacts your health, please contact Maryland Bariatrics today.

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