Have you checked your BMI?

MAJOR INDICATOR

Not many know that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is an important indicator of cardio-vascular or lifestyle-related diseases. Be it obesity, heart diseases or diabetes, BMI helps us know how healthy we are. Yet, not many people bother to check it on a regular basis.

Doctors suggest everyone should check their BMI to know more about their over-all health. “Ideally, the BMI should be around 25. Anything above that suggests that one is overweight and can become obese. Checking the BMI is easy.

There are many machines that do it. But the best option would be to go to a doctor as he or she can also tell you about the problems that could arise if the BMI is not at the right level. Many people today check their insulin levels and blood pressure regularly without realising how important it is to check the BMI. In fact, a lot of people are not even aware of the BMI,” says Chandil Kumar, a general physician.

He further explains that the BMI is a measure of whether a person’s weight corroborates with his or her height. For most people, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25 and a BMI of over 25 indicates that one may be carrying excess weight, which needs to be shed.

Anitha Kumar, a dietician, explains that there are four categories on the BMI chart — underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese. A higher BMI suggests that a person is at a greater risk of experiencing illnesses like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart diseases, stroke, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis.

“If the BMI is below 18.5, one could be underweight. This could be a sign that one is not eating a healthy or balanced diet. It also indicates there might be a wide range of underlying health conditions that need to be looked into,” says Anitha.

Many young professionals, like Subhash, say that though they have put on a considerable amount of weight, they have not checked their BMI. “I was not aware of the term until one of my colleagues explained it to me. Almost everyone tends to put on some weight after they start working as they start living a sedentary lifestyle.

It was only recently that I realised the need to check the BMI to know if I was inching towards being overweight,” he says.

Anitha explains that it is very important for young women to check their BMI as a considerable weight gain can cause many complications and affect the reproductive system.

 “Hormones go haywire when young women gain weight. If the BMI is checked on a regular basis, women will know the consequences of weight gain” she sums up.

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