Where Do I Fit in the Body Mass Index?

Where Do I Fit in the Body Mass Index?

Whether you determine your weight using a scale or your clothing size, it always comes down to numbers. Figuring out where your weight falls in the grand scheme of things also often comes down to a number — your body mass index (BMI) calculation.

At the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our team of bariatric surgery experts routinely uses the BMI calculator as a frontline assessment tool, but this tool is limited.

Here’s a look at what BMI is, where you fall within the calculations, and some points to think about when considering your BMI.

BMI basics

The BMI calculator is an incredibly basic tool that provides a preliminary calculation of the amount of body fat you have by measuring your weight and height. Simply plug in these two numbers, and then the calculator outputs your BMI (to try it yourself, click here).

Next, you need to see which category this number fits into, which includes:

In general, any BMI over 30 qualifies as obesity, which places you more at risk for developing serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease, to name just a few.

Diving deeper into your BMI

There are critics of solely relying on the BMI system for determining whether a person is at a healthy weight, since the calculator doesn’t take many considerations into account.

For example, athletes have far more muscle, which can skew these results, often placing them into a higher category that doesn’t reflect that much of the weight is muscle.

And your bone structure, waist-to-hip ratio, and genetics aren’t considered with a BMI calculator.

All that said, your BMI number does provide us with a general idea about your body fat percentage, which guides us moving forward.

BMI and your candidacy for weight loss surgery

As bariatric specialists, we use BMI calculations as general rules of thumb for recommending weight loss surgery

To illustrate this point, most bariatric specialists consider a BMI of 35 or higher as being a likely candidate for bariatric surgery. But if you have a BMI between 30 and 35 and your doctor has told you that you need to lose weight for your health, weight loss surgery may be an option.

Lastly, anyone with a BMI of 40 or higher typically qualifies for bariatric surgery based upon this number alone.

To give you an idea about your options in bariatric surgery, click here. Or you can contact one of our offices in Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, Tucson, or Phoenix, Arizona, to set up a consultation.

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