Body Mass Index (or BMI) is something used to calculate if a person is of a healthy weight. I hate it, it’s not an accurate measure of fat percentage and does not take into account one’s build. But the GP uses it to steer to fobbing me off with “if you lose weight it will be better” or “it’s likely because of your weight”.
Here in the UK, they say to be of healthy weight an adult’s BMI score should be between 18.5 – 24.9. Using the graph below, you’ll be able to see what sort of weight you need to be for a given height to be in that range. Obviously the taller you are, the heavier you can be but still have the same BMI score. The ranges used by the NHS are as follows;
My current BMI as of my weight at weigh-in last week is 35.9. This puts me firmly in the middle of the Obese category. Actually quite surprising as I’ve always classed myself as Very Obese. At the start of my current Slimming World journey back in May, my BMI came in at a whopping 39.2, that is just 0.7 from being classed as Very Obese. I’ve lost just over 2 stone and my BMI score has come down by 3.3 already.
In order for me to be classed as a Healthy Weight, I need to drop around another 6 and a half stone. Now I don’t have a target weight set at Slimming World. I don’t know what weight I will be comfortable at – maybe losing another 6 and a half stone will do it for me, but I suspect that I won’t get down that far before I say I’m a happy weight. I’m a fairly broad chap compared to others who might be my height, but the BMI score doesn’t take this into account.
If you’re currently trying to lose weight, or are successfully doing so, hopefully, you can see what BMI range you’re sitting in. The advice from the NHS is as follows;
As well as measuring your BMI, healthcare professionals may take other factors into account when assessing if you’re a healthy weight.
Muscle is much denser than fat, so very muscular people, such as heavyweight boxers, weight trainers and athletes, maybe a healthy weight even though their BMI is classed as obese.
Your ethnic group can also affect your risk of some health conditions. For example, adults of Asian origin may have a higher risk of health problems at BMI levels below 25.