Healthspan June 27, 2017

BMI stands for ‘Body Mass Index’ and is an easy way to measure how healthy your weight is in accordance with your height. Usually the higher your BMI is the more at risk you are to certain health problems. That is unless you are underweight which could be down to a number of factors including illness. 

Knowing your BMI is a great step towards measuring your health and wellbeing and may help to highlight whether you need to make any dietary changes to your lifestyle. The best way to keep your BMI in check is to balance your intake of calories against your output of energy. Basically, if you aim to burn off most of the food that you eat, whilst keeping your diet as balanced and as colourful as possible, you can’t go too far wrong.

Factors that may influence your BMI

It’s worth bearing in mind that the BMI calculator takes into account gender and age as well as height and weight when measuring children and young people, but only height and weight when measuring adults. Not only this, BMI cannot differentiate between excess fat, muscle, and bone, which means athletes, for example, may be classed "overweight" or "obese" despite their body fat being very low.

To get an idea of your BMI, you can check on the chart below.

BMI is not a perfect measure of your ideal weight but it is a helpful reference. More robust calculations such as your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) take factors into account such as your activity levels, build and type of diet or calories that you consume.

If you have major concerns about your weight, we would always advise you to check with your GP before making any drastic changes to your diet and activity levels.

Why waist size also matters

Remember that having a healthy BMI does not make up for having excess tummy fat. Carrying too much weight around your stomach can raise your risk of heart disease, type two diabetes and stroke .

The NHS recommends trying to lose weight if you are a man whose waist measures 94cm (37ins), or a woman whose waist measures 80cm (31.5ins).

When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, have a think about everyday ways you can add more exercise into your daily routine. Small changes like walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking further away from the supermarket are an easy way of increasing your daily step count. It has recently been revealed that seventeen thousand steps a day means Amazonian hunters have the healthiest hearts . Although even ten thousand steps a day might seem like a struggle for the average Brit, there’s nothing stopping us aiming high!

References

http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/loseweight/Pages/BodyMassIndex.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39292389

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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