What Is BMI and Does It Matter?

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It’s no secret that gaining weight is much easier than losing it for most individuals. While stepping on a scale is typically a good way to keep track of your progress, you likely aren’t getting the whole picture without measuring your BMI, or body mass index. In this article, we will explore what BMI measurements are and whether you should actively be tracking yours.

What Is BMI?

In its simplest terms, body mass index is determined by using both an individuals body weight and height to determine a composite score. This score is then compared to pre-defined ranges to determine if you are underweight, normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. This method is often utilized to determine ideal weight ranges from an individual perspective.

To be considered normal by the BMI scale, adults must be between 18.5 and 24.9. To determine BMI, a simple math equation is used, weight in kilograms divided by height in meters. While the formula may get a little complex with American units, there are many calculators available online to help determine what your current BMI is and perform conversions for you.

Does BMI Matter?

It is not uncommon for many to criticize the BMI system because it provides too broad a range of results. By all accounts, BMI measurements don’t allow for wiggle room based on age, gender or body build. This causes particular problems for athletes and bodybuilders that may be considered overweight or obese because of increased muscle content that affects perceived weight.

However, while this may be a problem for some segments, monitoring your BMI when already overweight or obese is a good way to progress toward your goal. If you don’t currently have a lot of muscle content or have a lot of weight to lose, the system is a great way to track your progress and determine your ideal weight for improved health.

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