BMI: Assessing Your Weight and Health Risks

AuthorNatural Clinic
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Body Mass Index (BMI)


The body mass index (BMI) is a formula that calculates body fat percentage based on height and weight. It does not explicitly quantify body fat but approximates it using an equation. BMI can be used to decide whether a person is overweight or healthy.


A high BMI indicates that the body has too much fat. The higher a person’s BMI, the more likely they are to experience severe health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A low BMI can lead to health issues such as bone loss, impaired immune function, and anemia.


While BMI can be beneficial in screening children and adults for bodyweight problems. But it does have its limits. BMI may overestimate the amount of body fat in athletes and other people with very muscular bodies. It may also underestimate the body fat in older adults and other people who have lost muscle mass.

Body Mass Index and Health


According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two-thirds of adults are overweight, with one-third being obese. Obesity affects about 17% of children and teenagers.


When there is an energy imbalance, people gain weight. The body needs a certain amount of energy from food to work accurately. Calories are used to produce this energy. When you eat the same amount of calories that your body uses or “burns” each day, your weight will usually remain the same. You will gain weight over time if you eat more calories than you lose.


One of the most significant causes of weight gain is an energy surplus. However, your genes, the diets you apply, and how much exercise you do, play a role in determining your target weight. If your BMI is too high, it’s vital to lose weight and sustain a healthier weight. A high BMI is linked to a higher risk of severe health problems.

Risk Factors for Health Topics Associated with Obesity


The following factors will increase your risk of heart disease and other illnesses in addition to being overweight or obese,


  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking


Obese (BMI greater than or equivalent to 30) or overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) people with two or more risk factors are recommended to lose weight. Even a minor weight loss (between 5% and 10% of your current weight) will help reduce your chances of contracting obesity-related diseases. People who are overweight have less than two risk factors may need to stop gaining weight rather than lose it.


Consult the doctor to see whether you are at a higher risk and, if not, how much weight you can lose. Your doctor will determine your BMI and other heart disease risk factors.

Treatment of Obesity and Overweight


The use of bariatric surgery has grown due to the increasing prevalence of obesity and the high failure rates of non-operative weight-loss services.  With the high number of bariatric patients and the provision of longer-term follow-up, it is now possible to make a more accurate estimate of weight-loss surgery results.


Significant metabolic impacts of bariatric surgeries have led to the realization that these procedures can do even more than weight loss. That’s why many have used the word “metabolic surgery” to highlight this effect.


These metabolic effects, which include the resolution or recovery of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, among others, are typically detected well before any substantial weight loss has occurred, suggesting the presence of multiple pathways, some of which are still unknown.


The most commonly performed bariatric procedures are;

  • Gastric banding,
  • Sleeve gastrectomy,
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass,
  • Biliopancreatic diversion.


Unlike gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, the latter two operations induce substantial malabsorption. Each procedure’s mode of action produces novel effects and leads to a constellation of procedure-specific risks, benefits, and limitations.


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