Simply put, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is the weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of his or her height in meters. It is measured in kilograms per square meter. It quantifies a person’s tissue mass in relation to their height and describes that person as underweight, overweight or obese.
The BMI calculator
The calculation of BMI has been simplified by the use of BMI calculators. These calculators have been programmed to output BMI values for the inputted values of body mass and height.
Features of The BMI Calculator
The BMI calculator is very easy to use. With the right values of your weight and height, you will be good to go. You will know whether you are overweight or underweight in an instant. If your BMI is anything between 18.25 and 25kgs/m2, you are in the normal weight range. Make sure you maintain your weight at this level. Any value below 18.25 means that you need to improve on your diet and exercise. Your weight is too small for your height.
On the other hand, any value above 30kgs/m2 is a red flag. You are obese. Shed off those extra pounds if you want to live a healthy life. However, there is a thin line between these categories, especially between overweight and obese cases. Factor in a reasonable error value before you declare yourself overweight or underweight.
Applications and Advantages
As noted above, the body mass index tells you where you lie on the weight chart. It is a wakeup call for overweight and obese individuals. Remember that if you are overweight or obese, you are at a high risk of catching stroke, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes, among other weight-related diseases. It also informs those who are underweight to eat well and exercise to match their weights with their heights, while encouraging the individuals with normal weight to maintain their weight.
Both mathematicians and health caregivers have criticized BMI. First, it gives an estimate of a person’s weight relative to their height. There is a significant error in this estimation, but most people ignore it when describing a person as overweight or obese. The body mass index has wrongly been used as a measure of the overall health of a human being. Additionally, from the formula, it is clear that taller individuals have a higher BMI than shorter individuals of the same weight and body shape. This way, shorter people feel thinner and taller people feel fatter.
The value also ignores the variation in physical features of different people and loss of height due to aging. On a different note, there is a big difference between fat mass and muscle mass, but the BMI calculator treats these two variables the same.
Consequently, if you are very fit, your high muscle mass may mean that you are overweight even though your fat mass is at an acceptable level. Because of these variations and more, there has been continuous research towards improving on the BMI measure. This has led to the introduction of Modified body mass index and BMI prime, to name but a few. Overall, BMI calculators are good at giving an estimate of a person’s weight relative to their height. However, one must factor in the errors inherent in the estimation in order to come up with a reasonable conclusion.