You say, “Why is this an issue in the first place? It’s easy; it’s obvious…I know myself; I see myself. I can simply look into the mirror, ask my family members or close friends, or check the sizes of my clothes–slim fit, medium, large, or extra-large!” My brother, my sister, no way! All of these might not give a correct assessment of your weight; you might not be sure if you are underweight (and even malnourished), and so on. How do you know if you are either overweight or obese? You need a standard way of measuring.
And, another problem is, “fat” or “slim” means different things to different people and different cultures. Some people feel “fat” when, in fact, they are not! And some other fat people will never agree they are fat! Some people feel they are “too” slim. We need a standard way of measuring.
Also, you may say, “Why not simply climb on a weighing scale?” The problem with that is, two people might be of the same weight, and while one is unhealthily fat, the other, based on his or her height, is just okay (and not at the risk of disease conditions as the other with whom they are of same height). Height matters, and we need a measurement system that takes our heights into consideration.
So, how do you know if you are normal, too fat, or too slim?
The key is the Body Mass Index (B.M.I). Yes, the BMI is a special scientific measurement that will tell you if you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. You can be doubly sure. BMI is a mathematical calculation, and it’s very simple to calculate; and even if you are allergic to and very poor in mathematics, don’t worry, I have a way to help you!
Your BMI is your weight divided by the square of your height. Simple. Measure your weight in kilograms (kg), not in pounds or any other unit. Measure your height in metres (m), not in feets or any other unit. Square the height (by multiplying the height by itself). Then, divide the weight by the square of the height.
Roughly, after calculating…
If the value is less than 18.5, you are underweight (possibly from malnutrition, disease, poor feeding, etc.)
If the value is between 18.5 and 25, you are normal [and this should be the goal of everyone!]
If the value is between 25 and 30, you are overweight [Watch it! You are already at risk of some diseases]
If the value is greater than 30, you are obese [This is NOT good!]
So, now, it’s time to do some calculation!
#1: Calculate your BMI yourself.
#2: See a doctor (or anyone) to help you calculate your BMI.
#3: Download a BMI calculator for your phone or computer, and use it.
#4: Call me (if you are still confused!)
My dear friend, what is your weight? What is your BMI?