Keep an Eye on Your BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an easy screening method to determine whether or not an adult is at a healthy weight. While BMI does not measure body fat directly, it correlates closely to accepted measures of body fat obtained from more advanced testing methods.
Calculate your BMI
To find your BMI, divide your weight (lbs) by the square of your height (in), and multiply by 703.
Amy is 5’6” (66”) and weighs 125 lbs. To determine her BMI, she divides her 125 (W) by the square of her height 66 x 66 = 4,356), and then multiplies by 703
Her resulting BMI is approximately 20.2.
YOU don’t have to do the math yourself — simply see the chart below to quickly learn your BMI.
What is a healthy weight?
Based on your BMI, you will fall into one of four weight categories:
- Underweight = BMI less than or equal to 18
- Healthy Weight = BMI 19-24
- Overweight = BMI 25-29
- Obese = BMI 30+
See chart above1 for weight ranges at heights from 4’10” to 6’4”. And please note that more weight = increased risk.
The risks of high BMI
If you find yourself fitting into either the overweight or obese categories, you may be at risk for a number of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The costs of high BMI
Obesity cost the country $147 billion in health care in 2008, with obese individuals paying $1,429 more per year for health-related services than those at a healthy weight.2
Be mindful of other factors
While BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness, it is not without its flaws. For example, women naturally tend to have more body fat than men, while athletes typically have less body fat than non-athletes at the same BMI.
Variables that can affect BMI results include:
- Muscle density
Knowing your BMI can help gauge whether or not you’re at a healthy weight. If you find yourself on the higher end of the scale, try these tips to get on the path toward a healthier you:
- Check with your health plan to see what services it may cover
- Ask about discounts on nutritional counseling and gym memberships
- Take advantage of other benefits your plan may provide to promote your health and wellness
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