Your body mass index (BMI) is a simple number that reveals a great deal about the state of your health and your risks for some very serious conditions.
To help you better understand the implications behind the simple BMI, our team of weight loss specialists here at Advanced Surgeons provides an explanation of BMI, how to interpret your numbers, and what to do when they’re on the high side.
What your BMI can and cannot tell us
A BMI calculation is a very simple way to determine your body fatness — all you need to do is input your height and your weight (click here for a quick-and-easy BMI calculator).
You then compare your resulting calculation to the following parameters:
- Under 18.5 — underweight
- Between 18.5 and 24.9 — healthy weight
- Between 25 and 29.9 — overweight
- 30 and above — obesity
These categories are designed for people 20 years and older. The parameters for kids and teens are slightly different, and body fatness is measured in percentiles.
While your BMI calculation is a great starting point to figure out whether you’re carrying too much weight, it does have some limits.
For example, BMI doesn’t take into consideration your bone size, which may be larger and contribute to a higher weight. Nor does BMI take into consideration the amount of muscle you have.
Despite its limitations, though, BMI provides valuable information in this one number — primarily if your percentage of body fat is too great.
Your options for a high BMI
If your BMI falls into the overweight category (25-29.9), we recommend that you view this as a wake-up call to take action. Going from the overweight category back down into the healthy weight category is considerably easier than tackling obesity.
Through diet and exercise, you can set a goal of losing just 5-10% of your overall body weight, which delivers immediate rewards. From meaningful health improvements, such as lowering your blood pressure, to feeling good about how you look, a little weight loss can go a long way toward your overall wellness.
Of course, we understand that it’s easier said than done to diet and exercise, and we’re here to help you through our comprehensive weight loss services, which include diet plans, weight loss medications, and support groups.
If your BMI number reaches up into obesity, take steps to bring your weight down so you can avoid some very serious health risks.
If you’ve tried diet and exercise to no avail, it may be time to consider weight loss surgery. While we hesitate to list firm qualifications for candidacy, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery provides these rules of thumb for bariatric surgery:
- A BMI of 40 or higher or being 100 pounds overweight
- A BMI of 35 or higher along with a weight-related health issue, such as heart disease or diabetes
Through one of our weight loss surgeries, we can help you take control of your BMI, quickly and effectively.
If you want to explore ways in which you can lower your high BMI further, please contact one of our offices in Valhalla, Carmel, or Poughkeepsie, New York, to schedule a consultation.