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BMI stands for body mass index. You can get your body mass index by getting your weight in pounds and comparing it to your height. You can check out this BMI calculator so that you don't need to do any math, which makes it super easy.

Why is the BMI important and what should you know about your BMI? Read the list below to find out.

5 Things You Should Know about Your BMI

1. It has been around for a long time 

You may not have heard of the term BMI, but it has actually been around for a long time. In fact, it has been around for over 100 years.

The basis for BMI can be traced back to 1830s, to Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, who is a Belgian astronomer, sociologist, statistician, and mathematician.

He called it social physics. It was in 1972 when it was given the term body mass index to indicate the ratio of human body weight to squared height. 

2. It is used by health professionals 

You have probably heard the term BMI in the hospital, inside your doctor's clinics and the like. That's because it is used by many health professionals.

Doctors, nurses use them to indicate if you have a healthy body weight. If you are planning to enroll yourself in a gym, you can expect that the trainer will also get your BMI so that they can tailor a workout regimen for you. This is so that you can achieve your target weight and get healthy. 

3. It is used as a general guideline 

Getting the BMI is important because it is used by health professionals as a general guideline to assess your health. They base it on your weight status.

​The range that is usually followed is 18.5 - 24.9 - that is the normal and healthy weight that most people should aim to have, lower than 18 and you are considered underweight. 

If you have a BMI of 25 to 29.9, then you are considered overweight.

If you have a BMI of higher than 30, then you are already classified as obese. 

4. If you have a high BMI, there are health risks

The higher your BMI is, the more health risks there are for you. As stated above, when you have a BMI of over 30, you are already considered obese. 

If you have kept up with the findings in health and science, then you know that when you are obese, the more that you may have certain types of diseases.

Some of the most common diseases associated with obesity include heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and even certain types of cancer like pancreatic, breast, and kidney cancer.

5. It is not the only guideline 

​While it is very important to know what your BMI can indicate regarding your health and the risks that could be involved, it is also important to know that your BMI is not the guideline and indication that you need to look at regarding your health.

There are those who say that some people who have a high BMI does not necessarily mean that they are unhealthy, that's because one thing that's lacking with BMI is the overall fat or muscle content. 

(Last Updated On: October 28, 2020)

A Doctor of Public Health, Lacy Ryan has accrued more than ten years of experience, making a name for herself as a researcher, writer, policy analyst, and project manager specializing in public health and international development.She earned her PhD in Community and Behavioural Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, her Master’s Degree in Global Health and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and her Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Biomedical Sciences (with minours in Biology and Psychology) at the University of Waterloo.