Body Mass Index
Whilst reading features on fitness, health and healthy eating, you have probably come across terms such as BMI, lean mass, adipose tissue or basal metabolism, whose meaning was not clearly defined, obscuring the overall message of the article.
Let's have a closer look at these terms: in this issue of our newsletter we'll talk about BMI.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is a very important parameter for obtaining information on physical status, in particular for identifying the amount of excess weight in adult men and women.
BMI is an index obtained by dividing the weight of an individual (expressed in kg) by the square of his or her height (expressed in m):
BMI = body weight (kg) / height (m2)
For instance, the BMI of a person who weighs 75 kg and is 1.80 m tall is:
BMI = 75 / (1.80 x 1.80) = 75 / 3.24 = 23.1
According to the World Health Organisation, BMI values can be grouped in eight categories. The four main ones are:
- Underweight, if BMI is less than 19
- Normal, if BMI is from 19 to 24
- Overweight, if BMI is from 25 to 30
- Obese, if BMI is over 30
However, to correctly assess overweight (underweight) in adults, BMI should be associated with other values, such as fat mass and lean mass, which we'll be discussing in our next issue.