Your Body Mass Index, BMI, is an important measure of health. It is a measure of the relationship between your height and weight, and has been the basis for many statistical studies over the past years. Statistically, people with a healthy Body Mass Index live much longer than those with an unhealthy index. The good news is that we can control this number!
The Table below lists the Body Mass Index ranges and the corresponding levels of health:
|BMI less than 18.5||BMI between 18.5 and 24.9||BMI between 25.0 and 30.0||BMI greaer than 30.0|
In 1998, a study was condcuted (Source: http://www.people.virgina.edu/~rjh9u/bmi.html) that calculated the risks associated with Body Mass Index values above the desirable range. The mortality rates were high across the board for Body Mass Index values greater than 27. This included death from cancer, heart disease, and overall mortality rates.
For those with a Body Mass Index of 27 or higher, the chance of getting Type II diabetes is 2000% higher than those with a Body Mass Index less than 23. This number soars to over 5000% when Body Mass Index exceeds 33.
Body Mass Index is the best tool we have (now) for determing unhealthy levels of obesity. Most of us use the bathroom scale as the gauge of health improvement. Use your weight and continue to track the progress. Calculate your Body Mass Index (below) and make it part of your fitness goals and plan.
One health issue that I've been battling for years is a heredity-driven high cholesterol. I've experimented with different diets, niacin, and exercise routines. What I concluded, is that the most influential factor on my cholesterol levels was my body mass index! Therefore, by reducing my body weight, I was able to reduce my cholesterol levels. Check out my comparisons of Body Mass Index to Cholesterol levels page.
Obesity is still being studied, but it's widely accepted that the effects of excessive weight can limit the length and quality of your life.