Dr Araz Rawshani

Calculate your BMI

Contents

Calculate your BMI

Having excess weight means a risk to your health. There are methods to find out if you have an excess weight that can increase the risk of certain diseases. The most common method is to measure the waist circumference.

Having excess weight means a risk to your health. There are methods to find out if you have an excess weight that can increase the risk of certain diseases. The most common method is to measure the waist circumference.

This text is about methods to find out if you are an adult have an unhealthy excess weight.

Different ways to find out if you have excess weight or obesity

You can use the following methods to find out if you have an unhealthy weight:

  • You measure your waist circumference.
  • You calculate the BMI, i.e. the ratio of your weight to your height.

The fat inside the stomach is the most unhealthy

It has some meaning where on the body the fat sits. It is worse for the health to have a lot of fat around the belly than having a lot of fat around the hips. The fat that is located inside the so-called peritoneum and around the organs inside the stomach is called abdominal fat. The abdominal fat is a different kind of fat than the superficial fat that is under the skin. The abdominal fat is more unhealthy and increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction.

Stress, irregular eating habits and eating a lot of sugar and so-called fast carbohydrates can increase abdominal fat.

The higher the waist circumference, the higher the risk of disease

The higher your waist circumference, the higher your risk of getting a disease due to your overweight. It’s almost completely no matter how tall you are.

Measuring waist circumference

When measuring your waist circumference, do the following:

  1. Use a tape measure.
  2. Stand up and lay the tape measure horizontally just above the umbilical level.
  3. Feel where the upper part of the iliac bone and the lower part of the rib arch are located. Lay the tape measure therebetween.
  4. Stand as relaxed as possible with your legs a little apart. Take a deep breath and exhale just before measuring.
  5. Measure without tightening the tape measure.

The risk of disease is already increasing at a waist circumference of over 94 cm for men and over 80 cm for women. Especially if you have a BMI over 25.

At waist circumference above 102 centimeters for men and above 88 centimeters for women, the risk is even greater for various diseases, for example, cardiovascular diseases.

The waist circumference does not take into account whether the fat is external or internal

By measuring the girth around your waist, you get a measure of how much fat you have inside and around your stomach. But the waist circumference does not distinguish between the more unhealthy fat between the organs and the less dangerous subcutaneous fat. However, measuring waist circumference is considered the best method for assessing the risk of disease due to overweight.

If you have a lot of fat accumulated around your stomach, you have an increased risk of disease even if you have a normal BMI. Thus, you may have an elevated waist circumference even at a low BMI. Then your waist circumference may increase the risk of getting diseases.

BMI – Body mass index

BMI is a measure of the ratio of length to weight. It is used to define obesity and overweight. BMI stands for body mass index.

Calculate the BMI as follows:

Weigh yourself and take your weight in kilograms. Multiply your length in meters by your length in meters. Divide the weight by that number. Example: 70 kg/(1.70 m X 1.70 m) = BMI 24.2.

See below in which group you end up and read what it can mean.

BMI below 18.5 kg/m2: UNDERWEIGHT

If you have underweight, you can benefit from gaining weight. If you are under BMI 18, you should contact a health centre for assistance. Many people who gain a little weight notice that they feel more comfortable and have a better performance. Good tips for how to gain weight can be found among the general health advice here at 1177 Care Guide. Read for example How to eat healthy.

BMI 18,5 — 24,9 kg/m2: NORMAL WEIGHT

You have a weight that, according to the BMI measure, is good for you. Try to maintain weight by eating healthy and moving in everyday life. Also keep in mind that even if you have so-called normal weight according to BMI, it is a health risk to have an elevated waist circumference.

BMI 25 — 29.9 kg/m2: OVERWEIGHT

You have overweight which means that according to BMI you weigh more than you feel good. Overweight between BMI 25 and 27 may mean a moderate increase in the risk of ill health. However, if you move regularly and are in good condition, the risk of disease is much lower than if you do not move very much.From BMI 27, the risks of hypertension, elevated blood lipids and type 2 diabetes are significantly increased.

If you want to lose weight, the best way is to eat healthy and the right amount. It is also important that you move as much as possible. It makes a big difference if you move a lot, little or not at all.

If you feel that you are not feeling well because of your overweight, you can contact a health centre for help.

BMI 30.0 and more: Obesity

If you have obesity, you may need to lose weight to avoid diseases such as high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. The risk for you depends on how much obesity you have and how you feel otherwise. Also, heredity has a great impact on the risk of getting diseases caused by your overweight.

It makes a big difference if you move a lot, little or not at all. Contact a medical center for advice and possible treatment.

BMI 30.0 and more: Obesity

Morbid obesity is a serious health condition that is associated with several diseases, and physical functions such as walking and breathing. Morbid obesity is defined as a BMI of 40 or more, or 35 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

BMI test is not suitable for children, muscular and elderly

The BMI measure has some shortcomings. For example, the limit values developed for adults cannot be used in children. For children 2 — 18 years old, other limits are used to take into account age and height growth using a formula called ISO-BMI. This is done at the Child Care Centre, BVC, and in school health care.

The BMI test is also not suitable for bodybuilders because the measure says nothing about how much of the body mass is muscle and how much is fat.

The BMI test is not suitable for those who are over 50 years old. For the elderly, the BMI limits are often higher.

The BMI measure does not take into account the distribution of fat in the body

Another shortcoming of the BMI measure is that it does not take into account how the fat is distributed in the body. Therefore, it is good if you also check the waist circumference when measuring BMI. You who have normal weight according to BMI, may still have more fat around your waist than is healthy. If you have excess weight according to BMI, you can have the weight distributed well and not have much of the harmful abdominal fat.

If you have both an elevated BMI and an elevated waist circumference, you can reduce the risk of disease if you move regularly and eat healthy.

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