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  • With growing obesity rates and trendy diets that do not always teach healthy habits, more and more focus has been put on achieving a healthy weight and body image for each person. The Body Weight Index is one tool experts use to determine healthy fitness goals for each individual.

    Background

    The Body Weight Index, or Body Mass Index (BMI), is a measurement that uses a person's height and weight to indirectly assess whether he is at a healthy weight for his height.

    How Does It Work?

    To determine a person's BMI, her weight in kilograms is divided by her height in meters squared, or BMI=kg/m2. To Calculate your BMI score at home, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide by your height in inches, and then divide that number again by your height in inches.

    BMI Categories

    They are four major categories of the Body Mass Index. A person with a BMI of less than 18.5 is considered to be underweight. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is generally regarded as normal or healthy. While 25.0 to 25.9 is in the overweight range, a BMI of 30.0 or greater is within the obese range.

    Misconceptions

    The American Heart Association warns that while the BMI index is useful in assessing most people's weight, extremely fit or muscular people might have a high BMI score but in reality have very little body fat. In these cases, other methods, such as measuring waist circumference, are more accurate in assessing their weight.

    Warnings

    A person with a BMI that falls within the range of obese or higher may be at risk for certain serious and potentially fatal health conditions such as heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

    Source:

    Healthy Weight: Assessing Your Weight

    Body Composition Tests: The American Heart Association

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