There are many three-lettered acronyms doing the rounds in local vocabulary and this shortened-form of communication extends to the medical field as well. Most of us who are remotely health conscious would have heard the term – “BMI”. But what is it exactly? What does it have to do with us and how useful is it with terms to our own health.
The full form is Body Mass Index. It is basically a value that we get by using two important factors for a human being – height and weight. According to Wikipedia.org, BMI is: “an attempt to quantify the amount of tissue mass (muscle, fat and bone) in an individual, and then categorize that person as underweight, normal weight, over weight or obese based on that value”. It further states that the general values for each of the divisions are – underweight: 18.5, normal weight: 18.5 to 25, over weight: 25 to 30 and obese: over 30.
However, there have been many arguments regarding the accuracy of BMI. The reason being, an individual who has muscle mass and therefore weighs more could still appear as being over weight or obese. A more accurate calculation, therefore, would be to calculate the total fat percentage in the body. However, the BMI Index is still used today to give an outline to a person’s health because most importantly it helps to understand whether the basic frame of your body is able to hold the weight you carry. It is accepted that if your waist circumference is more than 50% of your total weight, then you are in trouble.
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For those adults who appear to be obese, the number of health concerns you are facing are numerous. Some compare being overweight to smoking cigarettes because they have similar health concerns, some of which are:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cancer – including endometrial, breast and colon cancers
The important thing to ask yourself before you get too technical and seek medical advice, is whether you are doing your best to live an overall healthier lifestyle. Eating the right type of foods that create a balanced diet, regular exercise, avoiding processed foods, etc. is something that should be a conscious choice that you make regularly. It is also important that you stress less, get adequate sleep and avoid too much technology after work hours. Millennials are slowly awakening to these facts, which is a good thing, but it isn’t right if only a few of us do what is best for our bodies while the others get sucked into a culture that doesn’t promise longevity and health.
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