Do you have more mass than your heart can handle? The body mass index calculator will tell you. Medical researchers searched for an accurate, uniform way to measure fatness for decades when in 1972, physiology professor and obesity researcher Ancel Keys published his “Indices of Relative Weight and Obesity,” a landmark study of more than 7,400 men in five countries. Keys considered the various height-weight formulas in existance and found Quetelet’s equation to be the best marker of body-fat percentage. He renamed this number the body mass index or BMI. As Singer-Vine reports, the new number caught on among researchers who had previously relied on slower and more expensive measures of body fat or on the broad and ambiguous categories defined by the insurance companies.
What is body mass index or BMI?
The body mass index otherwise known as BMI, is a simple calculation using a person’s height and weight. The result typically in the range of 15 to 60 is known as the BMI or body mass index score. Most health organizations put a healthy BMI score between 18.5 and 25.0. Some people refer to this as a normal BMI.
Because it measures excess weight and not actually excess fat, BMI is considered a surrogate measure of body fat. However, studies show strong correlations between BMI measurements and the results of more direct body fat measures. If you are concerned about your weight or body size, calculating your body mass index is a good place to start before heading to the doctor’s office. BMI can predict future weight-related issues including disease and even death, so it is a very helpful tool in screening for health risks and obesity.
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