What Is BMI?
BMI limitations may
1) Overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build, or
2) Underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass. Therefore a more direct measurement of obesity, such as skin fold thickness or bioimpedance analysis, should be employed in addition to BMI when practical.
The BMI score means the following:
Underweight Below 18.5
Normal 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight 25.0 - 29.9
Obesity 30.0 and Above
There are additional factors to consider besides BMI when evaluating your risk for developing chronic disease. These RISK FACTORS include:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- high LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
- low HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
- high triglycerideshigh blood glucose (sugar)
- family history of premature heart disease
- physical inactivity
- cigarette smoking
For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, the guidelines recommend weight loss. Even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Patients who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have less than 2 risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.
Talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and others risk factors for heart disease. People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
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