What Is BMI?
BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI does not measure body fat specifically, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat obtained from skinfold thickness measurements, bio electrical impedance, densitometry (underwater weighing), dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and other methods. Also, BMI appears to be as strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcome as are these more direct measures of body fatness. In general, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight category, for example underweight, normal or healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.
How is BMI used?
A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of a person.
What are the health consequences of obesity for adults?
People who are obese are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following:
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning