Golden West Medical Center
Medically Supervised Weight Loss in Tucson, Arizona
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the most accurate 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. Someone 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. Be sure to consult your doctor or other health professional before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program.
In June 1998, the federal government announced guidelines which create a new definition of a healthy weight -- a BMI of 24 or less. So now a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. Individuals who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9, and have a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at especially high risk for health problems.
A BMI below 20 indicates a lean BMI, which means you have a low amount of body fat. If you are an athlete, this can be desirable. If you are not an athlete, a lean BMI can indicate that your weight may be too low which may lower your immunity. If your BMI and body weight are low, you should consider gaining weight through good diet and exercise habits, to increase your muscle mass (not fat).
A BMI between 20 and 22 indicates the ideal, healthy amount of body fat, which is associated with living longest, and the lowest incidence of serious illness. Coincidentally, it seems this ratio is what many individuals perceive to be the most aesthetically attractive. A BMI between 22 and 24 is still considered an acceptable range, and is associated with good health.
Use the BMI calculator below to figure your BMI and then refer to the chart to see ranges for a healthy BMI.
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It is not a substitute for consulting with your doctor. Always consult with your doctor prior to making decisions regarding any treatment.
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