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    What Does Our BMI Tell Us?

    Your Body Mass Index and Diet
    When you go on a diet, the objective is to reach a healthier weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related conditions. But, how do you know what is considered to be a healthy weight for a person of your size, age, and body type? That is where the BMI chart comes in.
    BMI stands for “Body Mass Index.” It is a diet tool that was recently developed to help people in our diet-conscious society determine how much they need to weigh in relation to their height.
    The BMI is a better way to determine where you stand on the obesity scale than just weight alone. It gives us a general guide to help us think more broadly about what it means to have a healthy body.  Many studies have shown that being overweight or obese increases your risk of certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
    A poor diet can raise bad (LDL) cholesterol which in turn can increase blockages  in the arteries and lead to other life-threatening conditions like heart attack and stroke.
    There are a lot of free and easy to use online BMI calculators, such as the one at: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
    Put in your numbers and see what you BMI is.  Then see where you are on this scale:
    * A BMI below 18.5 is considered to be underweight
    * A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be the normal range
    * A BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered to be overweight
    * Any BMI over 30.0 is considered obese.

    The BMI was developed as a tool for doctors in particular to guide their patients about their weight.  The connection between health and weight can no longer be denied and there are clear benefits to even a moderate amount of weight loss.
    Losing even ten percent of your body weight can greatly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Losing more can cut out your greatest risk factor altogether. It also reduced wear and tear on knee and hip joints, your back, and more.
    Body Mass Index is also determined for children. Their BMI chart is a little different but does the same thing. The parent of a child who is overweight can consult their pediatrician for ways to reverse the condition and improve their health.
    For children, the best way to determine their BMI is by letting the doctor determine it. You can use BMI calculators online to get a preliminary number to work with.
    The BMI is only a tool. It doesn’t mean that you will develop heart disease just because you are a bit round. There are other risk factors that go into the disease process,  such as heredity, but weight is one of the factors that can be changed by you with a bit of patience and effort.

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