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Body Mass Index or BMI is a measure of the body mass and size by combining your weight and height. BMI is widely used to indicate the fat content in your body. BMI can help assess if your weight is accurate for your body height and know your weight category- underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obesity. If your BMI is outside the healthy range, your health risks increase significantly.
BMI helps the insurance company ascertain your health condition and determine the risk of health issues and mortality. A healthy body mass index implies that your premiums will be likely lower than someone with a high body mass index.
Body mass index or BMI is a measure of the body mass and size by combining your weight and height. BMI is widely used to indicate the fat content in your body. BMI can help assess if your weight is accurate for your body height and know your weight category - underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obesity. If your BMI is outside the healthy range, your health risks increase significantly.
For example, a tall and short person might have the same weight but different BMIs. In all likelihood, the body mass index of the taller person will be on the healthier side than the one who is short in stature. This is because the weight of the taller person is more appropriate as per the height. However, the shorter person who has the same weight range is more likely to be overweight or obese.
Moreover, the ideal weight could be different for a man and woman of the same height. To know if you fall in the healthy weight range or not, you can use a BMI calculator to solve the confusion.
Age and gender do not matter when calculating BMI for adult men and women as they have the same ideal ranges. However, it should be noted that generally adult women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat as compared to men.
When you buy a health insurance plan, the insurance company decides the premiums for your health insurance plan as per the risk associated with your life. This means that if you are a healthy individual, you are likely to pay lower premiums for your health insurance plan as your risk of health issues or mortality is low. Alternatively, if you are a person who is not healthy, you might have to pay high premiums owing to the increased health or mortality risk.
In this regard, BMI helps the insurance company ascertain your health condition and determine the risk of health issues and mortality. A healthy body mass index implies that your premiums will be likely lower than someone with a high body mass index.
You can lower the premiums for your health insurance plan, provided you make some lifestyle and dietary modifications and get your body mass index level in the appropriate range.
Your body mass index affects your term insurance plan like it affects your health insurance plan. When you buy a term plan, the insurance company asks you to undergo several medical tests to determine your health status. One of the vital checks is regarding your weight. Your BMI helps the insurance company determine the level of risk associated with your life and determine your term plan premiums. If you have a high body mass index, term insurance plan premiums will likely be higher, owing to the high risk of health issues and mortality. Alternatively, if you have a healthy BMI value, you will most likely pay lower premiums for your term insurance plan. A person with a normal BMI will probably live longer than one
who has a high BMI level. Hence, the chances of claim in the first case are
lower than the latter.
As per the WHO body mass index references, the ideal BMI for men is between 18.5 and 24.9. A body mass index in this range indicates that the person is healthy and is not overweight, obese or underweight. A body mass index below 18.5 indicates that the individual is underweight and should follow appropriate diet and exercise modifications to get the BMI in the normal range. Alternatively, men who have a body mass index above 24.9 are considered overweight, and those with BMI over 30 are obese. The health risks in people who are overweight or obese are significantly high. These people need to consult a doctor or a nutritionist to get their BMI values in order.
Moreover, men with a greater or lesser BMI value are more likely to feel a lack of energy, fatigue and sluggishness. This can further increase their health complications. To get your BMI in the ideal body mass index range, keep a tab on your weight and take a proper diet. Also, regular BMI check-ups can help you monitor your body mass index. In case of deviations, seeking timely doctor consultation can help avoid several health issues.
The ideal BMI for women is the same as the BMI for men. For adults, BMI is a function of height and weight. Hence, there is no role of gender. So, ideal BMI for men and BMI for women are the same. For women, a BMI index between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29 is overweight, and over 29 is obse. Alternatively, women with a body mass index lower than 18.5 are considered underweight.
That said, generally, women have a higher percentage of body fat as compared to men. Studies have confirmed that some gender-related factors cause men to have a higher BMI value than women. This is also why women are assigned low calories than men per day. Moreover, in some cases, BMI values up to 32 could be normal in women. But this does not mean that their body mass index calculations or readings change. The ideal body mass index for men and women is the same.
Here is a chart with the ideal BMI for adult men and
| Weight in Kgs/Pounds
||Height in Feet and Inches|
|5 ft.||5 ft. 3 inches||5 ft. 6 inches||5 ft. 9 inches||6 ft.|
For adults, the body mass index calculated from the BMI formula is interpreted using a reference table. The interpretation of BMI for men and BMI for women is through the same body mass index chart.
As per WHO, BMI values below 18.5 are underweight. If the body mass index of a person is between 18.5 and 29.5, then the person is healthy. However, deviations of body mass index below and above this range indicate health risks. A body mass index between 25 and 29.9 indicates that one is overweight, and a body mass index beyond 30 is obesity. For clinical purposes, obesity can be divided into three categories:
· Class 1 : BMI between 30 and 34.9
· Class 2: BMI between 35 and 39.9
· Class 3: BMI above 40
Globally, nearly 1.5 million adults (approximately 34% of the total world adult’s population) are overweight or obese. This number will likely reach 3 billion by 2030. This is highly alarming. The risk of developing health issues, such as chronic heart diseases, diabetes, etc., rises sharply for BMI values above 21. This also means there is a high of death of people with such serious health ailments.
Calculating BMI for children is as important as calculating body mass index for adults. By knowing the body mass index of your child, you can assess if your child is growing normally. Moreover, if the BMI values of the child are high or low, you can take preventive measures to avoid any health issues that may arise in the future.
Calculating and reading BMI for children is different from adults. This is because the body fat in children changes as they grow and is influenced by their gender. The BMI calculator for children divides the child's weight (in kilograms) by the child's height (in metres squared) and further multiplies the total result by 703.
The BMI values from the BMI calculator are interpreted with the gender and age of the child. When assessing the BMI for children, the BMI value of each child is matched with the percentiles of other children of the same age and gender.
The BMI range according to percentages and percentiles, is:
· Less than the 5th percentile: Underweight
· Above the 5th but lower than the 85th percentile: Normal weight
· Above 85th percentile but lower than the 95th percentile: Overweight
· BMI more than or equal to the 95th percentile: Obesity
As per this BMI chart, if your child has a 25th BMI percentile, then they are in the normal weight range. Also, the child’s weight is higher than 25% of the children of the same age. The BMI percentile is assessed in correspondence to the gender of the child.
BMI is used to measure overweight and obesity because it is easy to calculate, and the various online BMI calculators can determine your BMI in 2-3 minutes without any fee. Even though body mass index calculators are not an accurate diagnostic tool, they can help screen for potential weight-related problems in adults and children. Body mass index values act as a primary indicator of any health issue. If the BMI value is below or above the normal BMI range, the doctor or health professional can then take specific steps, such as:
· Conduct the skinfold thickness test to know the precise level of fat in the body
· Evaluate diet and physical activity
· Assess family history of heart issues and related health risks
. Conduct required health screenings to identify, minimise or prevent any possible health ailments
If the BMI check indicates overweight, several health risks could potentially affect an overweight person. Being overweight has the following effects on your body:
· It makes the heart function harder than otherwise required.
· It raises blood pressure levels along with blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
· It lowers the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol levels.
· It increases the risk for diabetes and other health issues.
As per studies, being overweight can increase your risk of the following health conditions:
· Type 2 diabetes
· High blood pressure
· Heart issues
· High triglyceride
· High blood pressure
· High cholesterol levels
· Lower good cholesterol levels
· Coronary heart issues
· Heart attack
· Insulin resistance
· Gall-bladder issues
· leep apnea
· Skin issues like darkening of the skin, pigmentation, etc.
· Respiratory problems
· Varicose Veins
· Bladder incontinence
· Clinical depression
· Specific types of cancer such as breast cancer, gall bladder cancer, endometrial, colon cancer, etc.
· Poly-cystic ovarian disease in women
· Fertility issues
. Menstrual irregularitie
On the other hand, carrying extra weight as a child of teenager can also cause significant health problems that can go on into adulthood. In children, high BMI values indicating obesity increase the risk of heart issues, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. Further, overweight and obese children can also be affected by asthma, low self-esteem and psychological stress.
If your BMI check indicates a lower BMI value than the normal range, you might be underweight. Even though there is a lot of focus on the health effects of being overweight or obese, it is also critical to know the health risks related to being underweight. Some of the health risks associated with being
· Osteoporosis because of Vitamin D and calcium deficiency
· Poor immunity or lower ability to fight any infections
· Increased risk of complications after a surgery
· Fertility issues
· Irregular menstrual cycles
· Hormonal imbalances
· Growth and development issues – physically and mentally. This is more common in teenagers and younger children.
Low BMI levels can indicate underlying health issues like anorexia. If your BMI check indicates a low BMI level, it is good to consult a doctor.
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