BMI: What’s Your Number?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is based upon your weight and your height and is a number that healthcare providers use to estimate the amount of body fat that you have. Having too much body fat may put you at risk for certain health conditions. HMR’s Chief Medical Officer, Carol Addy, M.D., shares some helpful information about BMI, including how to calculate yours and what you can do if your number is high.
BMI is used by healthcare providers as a first step to screen adults for weight problems. Other considerations include how fit you are, how your body fat is distributed and if you have weight-related health problems.
If your BMI is:
Below 18.5: you are considered underweight
18.5-24.9: you are considered to be in the normal range
25-29.9: you are considered overweight
30 or higher: you are considered obese
In general, higher BMIs, particularly those above 30, are associated with greater health risks, including:
Putting extra stress on your bones, joints, and organs, making them work harder than they should.
Raising your blood pressure and cholesterol, which make heart disease and stroke more likely.
Worsening conditions like osteoarthritis, back pain, asthma, and sleep apnea.
Being linked to several types of cancers.
Making your body respond less well to insulin, which controls your blood sugar. Over time, that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Making it harder to be active.
What Can I Do if My BMI Indicates that I am at Increased Risk for Health Problems?
First, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider so that he/she can help you to better understand what your BMI means in the context of your medical history. You can discuss treatment options, which typically involve making lifestyle changes to lose weight, including making healthier eating choices and becoming more active.
Next, work with your healthcare provider to decide upon your goals – how much weight would you like to lose? Having a goal gives you something to work towards.
Then, determine what type of weight-loss program would work best for your lifestyle. Do you want a structured diet plan, or do you prefer more flexibility? Do you want a program with coaching, or would you prefer to do it on your own?
Lastly, go for it! This critical step is your opportunity to take control of your health. The power to make that happen is within your reach!
Use the chart below to determine your BMI.
If your BMI is out of the normal range, HMR can be a great option for weight loss. Research has shown that even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of your initial weight can provide important medical benefits. The HMR Program is a lifestyle-focused weight management program that can help you lose weight while learning the skills you need to keep it off. See how it works.