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Welcome to

This is a site
of information
and ideas to
support your
health and
inner journey.

Welcome to

This is a
site of
and ideas
inner journey
to health

May peace
and light
you on your

    BMI-Body Mass Index
    By Patti Helsten Petrella

    Body Mass Index (BMI) is a formula most often used by weight professionals to assess
    whether a person is overweight, underweight or normal.  You may want to use it in your
    training program, so here is a quick lesson on how to use it.  BMI gauges a person’s weight
    status, body fat, and gives a fairly accurate predictions of health risks, that result from being

    Overweight is defined as an excess amount of body weight, including fat, muscle, bone and
    water. Obesity is defined as an excess amount of body fat. Thus, an athlete or muscular
    person may be overweight without being obese.

    How to calculate BMI in American Units:
    1.        Measure and record your weight in pounds
    2.        Measure and record your height in inches
    3.        Body Mass Index = Weight [in pounds] X 704.5 divided by (Height [in inches] X Height
    [in inches])

    BMI Example
    1.        You are 5 feet 4 inches (64 inches)
    2.        Your weight is 175 pounds
    3.        Your BMI is: (175 X 704.5) divided by (64 X 64) = 30

    In June 1998, the US Federal Government published guidelines, which create a new
    definition of a healthy weight - a BMI of 20-24.99. So now a BMI of 25 to 29.99 is considered

    These are the new guidelines:
    Under 20 (19 for women) = Underweight
    Between 20 and 24.99 = Normal Weight
    Between 25 and 29.99 = Overweight
    Between 30 and 34.99 = Obese Class 1
    Between 35 and 39.99 = Obese Class 2
    40 and above = Extreme (Morbid) Obesity

    Diseases associated with High BMI
    •        Hypertension
    •        Cardiovascular Disease
    •        Dyslipidemia
    •        Adult-Onset Diabetes (Type II)
    •        Sleep Apnea
    •        Osteoarthritis
    •        Female Infertility
    •        Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
    •        Lower extremity venous stasis disease
    •        Gastro esophageal reflux
    •        Urinary stress incontinence

    Body Mass Index (BMI) Disease Risk:
    BMI of < 20.00 - Risk = Moderate to Very High
    20.00 to 21.99 - Risk = Low
    22.00 to 24.99 - Risk = Very Low
    25.00 to 29.99 - Risk = Low
    30.00 to 34.99 - Risk = Moderate
    35.00 to 39.99 - Risk = High
    BMI of > 40.00 - Risk = Very High

    Using the BMI has some limitations though.  For example an athlete might have a great deal
    of muscle and very little body fat, but might be classified as overweight because of their total
    body weight.  For the athlete, your percentage of body fat would be a better measurement.

    Therefore exceptions to the BMI as a good predictor would include:
    •        Children and teens
    •        Competitive Athletes
    •        Pregnant or Nursing women
    •        People over 65

    Another way of enhancing BMI results would be to measure your waist circumference,
    because location of body fat is very important in overall health considerations.
    A large waistline is associated with an increased risk for Type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia,
    hypertension, and CVD in patients with a BMI in a range between 25 and 34.9.

    To Measure your waist:
    Your waist is approximately 1 inch above your belly button.  Measure without holding the tape
    too tight or too loose.

    Since it is important to measure your progress, you might want to try using the Body Mass
    Index, especially if you have a fear of the scale.