fig: BMI Table / BMI Chart
BMI Chart along with height and weight is available above which you can reference yourself to measure how perfect your body is. The campaign for a healthy living seems to have achieved its objective. With the risks associated with being underweight, overweight and obese known, people are on the lookout for their body mass index (BMI). BMI uses height and weight to determine the body fat a person has. BMI chart or BMI tables helps you find out under which category you fall in. One should strive to be in the normal weight category in the chart as this is the recommended health status.
Figuring out your BMI does not have to be tasking. Visiting a doctor’s office will give you the results in an instant. There are BMI calculators at your disposal in health blogs and sites as well. This is however not the issue of concern. As one may have realized, the results of the BMI chart are usually different in people. Why?
Well, the body mass index does not only depend on the two measures mentioned above. The sex, age, muscle mass and ethnicity are factors that have an effect on the results. For example, a body builder’s bone mass and muscle mass will definitely influence the BMI relation with their body fat. Their BMI may be high on the chart but they are perfectly healthy (more on that later). For now, let us look at BMI in women, men, and children.
fig: BMI Table / BMI Chart for adults
Before delving any further into this subsection, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, BMI calculations are universal. Secondly, the bmi chart or you can also say them as bmi tables use following indications is as follow;
- BMI below 18.5- Interpreted as underweight
- BMI ranging between 18.5-24.9 – is the ideal level. It means one is within the healthy weight
- BMI ranging between 25-29.9 –translates to overweight
- Then if the BMI falls to from 30 upwards, then you are obese and should take the necessary steps to get back to a healthy weight.
The BMI charts interpretation for adults remains the same except for minor differences given that gender contributes to the overall body fat calculations.
Men are generally muscular. Therefore, different metrics can be used besides the BMI. The body surface area (BSA), is an alternative to the BMI. But we digress. The average body fat level in men should fall between 13- 17%.
To get the right interpretations, it is sometimes best to let a doctor do it, reason being, body fat percentage for women is slightly higher compared to that of men. In women, the percentage should be around 20. Factoring the age, this BMI changes the meaning.
In the BMI chart, the number gradually increases due to pregnancies and hormonal weight changes. However, menopause also affects the BMI readings.
BMI in children and adults
Just like in adults, body fat in children also varies with the sex of the child. For accuracy, BMI chart for specific age is used to determine the overall index in children. The BMI chart table locates which percentile the child falls in. The interpretation for the chart should be guided by:
- If the child’s BMI falls below the 5th percentile, then they are underweight
- The healthy weight in children should be located between 5-85th percentile
- Above 85th to the 95th percentile, the child is overweight
- Being in the 95th, or above, the child is obese.
To ascertain the BMI chart for age and sex, evaluation of the child’s diet, skin-fold thickness, and family history should not be ignored. It is, however, important to note that as the child grows in height and weight, the healthy weight will keep on changing.
BMI chart limitations
i. Athletes, bodybuilders, and people with high muscular builds find BMI chart unreliable as it overestimates their body fat. From the charts, these people become obese and morbidly obese. In the chart, there is no room for body composition considerations and fat-free mass ratio. Also, it never really factors ethnic differences.
ii. The chart is misleading to older adults as they may have lost some muscle mass which contributes to their weight. One may be healthy but have low muscle mass leading to accelerated aging and they grow weaker.
In conclusion, a healthy weight is just the best way to go as it averts weight-related diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension. The BMI chart is just one of the many metrics that will boost your confidence knowing that you fall under the healthy BMI. Get calculating with BMI calculator to know your BMI.