BMI (Body mass index) is an estimate of how moderate a person’s body weight is based on their height and weight. Doctors say that a healthy BMI (Body mass index) for women to be 18.5 – 24.9. A BMI (Body mass index) of 30 or above may indicate obesity. BMI measurements are able to help someone understand whether they have overweight or underweight. But, BMI for women has several limitations because it does not measure body fat specifically.
Well, in this page, we are going to explain about a BMI calculator, the pros and cons of BMI measurements, and also explain some other methods that women may discover useful for keeping track of their health.
BMI Calculator for women
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specify BMI as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. A person is able to use this calculator to determine their BMI.
After someone knows their BMI, they are able to find out where their measurement falls in the following standard weight categories from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Here are BMI ranges for woman:
|Obese||30.0 and higher|
Benefits of BMI (Body mass index)
BMI is a really useful tool for understanding where someone’s weight falls on the scale from underweight to overweight. Also, it will be able to help people maintain a moderate weight, that can reduce their risk for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some forms of cancer
If a person discovers that their BMI is not in the healthy range, they are able to begin for making changes to their diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of those and other conditions.
As a measurement, BMI (Body mass index) has the benefits such as below:
- it is very easy to calculate at home using a scale and tape measure.
- it is inexpensive to measure.
- it has a strong correlation with body fat levels.
- A amount of research shows a link between BMI and health.
Drawbacks of BMI (Body mass index)
BMI (Body mass index) will be able to estimate whether a person’s weight is moderate, but it has some limitations. Although it correlates with body fat levels, BMI (Body mass index) does not distinguish between the weight which comes from fat, muscle, and bone. Thus, someone who is muscular could have the same BMI as someone with overweight. Aside from that, the proportion of muscle, fat, and bone in the body usually changes as people age, primarily among women. The average women loses about 13 pounds of muscle and bone between the ages of 25 and 65, while belly fat increases to 4 times its previous amount.
For example, a 72 years old female who still weighs what she did when she was 27 have a BMI which falls in the healthy range despite having a much larger percentage of body fat. A high body fat percentage has a bad effect on health. A 2014 research found that people with a normal BMI but a high percentage of body fat had a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Those who have excess fat around the belly had a higher risk of mortality.
In another research, the researchers found that several postmenopausal women with a body fat percentage of 35 percent that doctors consider a sign of obesity were not in the obese category according to their BMI. Thus, BMI alone can be a misleading measurement of someone’s overall health, especially for people who are really muscular, or postmenopausal, or have abdominal fat but are otherwise a moderate weight.
Other ways for measuring weight
In addition to BMI, women are able to use other ways to check their weight, body composition, and risk for certain diseases. Based on the Harvard School of Health, these include waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). For waist circumference, this way measures belly fat. It is a key indicator of someone’s risk for weight-related disease. People are able to measure the circumference of their waist using a soft tape measure. While waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), this way also measures abdominal fat. A person will be able to calculate their WHR by dividing their waist measurement by the circumference of their hips. WHO (World Health Organization) state that a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.85 or below for women means that they have a low risk for weight related disease.
Some diagnostic tests that a doctor can do include:
A doctor measuring someone’s body weight while they are in water. The test compares their weight measurements on land to their measurements in water to calculate body fat percentage. Usually, Densitometry only takes place in a research setting.
- Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
X-rays move through fat, bone and muscle at different rates. So, this approach has two low level X-rays through the body to calculate relative percentages.
- Bioelectrical impedance (BIA)
BIA (Bioelectrical impedance) estimates someone’s body fat percentage by passing a low level electric current through the body.
- Isotope dilution
In this test, a person drinks water which contains isotopes and then provides samples of bodily fluids. Those samples give a doctor information on the individual’s body composition.
BMI (Body mass index) is one of the tools which individuals and doctors can utilize to determine a person’s risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. But, it has some drawbacks. For women, the body fat percentages change over time. It is because BMI (Body mass index) does not measure body fat specifically. Probably, BMI (Body mass index) not provide someone with all the information which they need about their risk for these diseases.
BMI for women is still an ideal and useful tool for measuring overall body weight, however a person who wishes to track their health can benefit from combining BMI with other metrics, such as WHR (waist-to-hip ratio).