Using body-mass index to determing overweight from DFW Vegetarian in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
By Rob McLean
||Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is basically the
relationship between your height and weight. It is an objective standard that is becoming
the measurement of choice for most health care professionals.
The federal government announced guidelines which create a new definition of unhealthy weight: Those individuals with a BMI range of 25 or more with a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at high risk for health problems--generally, the higher the BMI and the larger the waist measurement, the greater the health risks.
Although Body Mass Index does not directly measure percent of body fat, higher BMIs are usually associated with an increase in body fat and the potential health risks of excess weight. Higher BMIs are an indication of preventable risk just like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
One variable BMI fails to consider, however, is lean body mass. It is possible for a healthy, muscular individual with very low body fat to be classified obese using the BMI formula. If this describes you, ignore the Body-Mass Index.
Below 20: You are considered underweight and may have immunity problems.
20 through 24: A BMI between 20 and 22 indicates a healthy amount of body fat and is associated with a long life and with less serious illness. In fact, through 24 is generally considered satisfactory and indicitive of continued good health.
25 through 30: You are considered overweight and thought to be at increased risk for a variety of illnesses. Time to lose weight by changing your diet and exercising more.
Over 30: This indicates an unhealthy weight where you are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, and some cancers. You should defintiely lose weight by changing your diet and exercising more.
How did Americans get so "hefty?" In my opinion, lifestyle, fast/processed food, snacks, and government subsidies. Food is bargain-priced, plentiful, processed, and mostly unhealthy. I believe our corner eateries, school lunches, and food industries make up a junk food delivery system that is unsurpassed in the world, often serving food that is cheap because it is subsidized by the federal government.
Add a lifestyle that seems to include less and less exercise every year--and--we get fat!
|Body Weight (pounds)|
Source: Food Standards Agency
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