When it comes to determining the weight of an individual, the most common tool is the scales. However, in deciding whether the weight someone carries places them in a certain category, a medical professional will look at the bigger picture. The doctor or dietician will then consider the relation of the person’s weight to his or her height. This is their body mass index (BMI). They will use a BMI calculator to reveal the figures in order to make an appropriate assessment.
What Is a BMI Calculator?
This calculator is a simple tool. It allows everyone to determine what their standing is within the norm. It calculates the ratio of body fat to height placing it within a specific category. These range from below normal, to normal, overweight (BMI of 25–29.9), obese (BMI of 30 plus) and morbid obesity (40 plus).
Such categorization also associates a high BMI with increased health issues. However, exceptions do exist. Because of the weight of muscle mass, athletes tend to have a higher BMI than the norm. In general, though, it is valid to state that those with a lower BMI are at risk for fewer health issues.
Why Use BMI?
Doctors and surgeons also use the person’s BMI to help decide whether to allow bariatric surgery. They also use it to determine whether someone with too low BMI suffers from malnutrition and needs to undergo intense therapy for some psychological issue, e.g., anorexia nervosa, or requires further testing to determine whether the causal factor is an illness or disease.
BMI remains a solid tool for estimating body fat according to height and weight. With a few exceptions, it remains a good guide on an individual’s risk for suffering from specific health problems. By using a BMI calculator, people can learn their BMI and decide whether they need to address any weight-related health concerns.