What your BMI says about your health
By Dr. Rebecca Desiderio
Everyone is trying to find ways to shed off those extra pounds and hold on to his or her “teenage weight.” One of our biggest concerns is our weight, as we get older. Good thing there’s a simple way of finding out whether you are within the healthy weight scale – finding out your Body Mass Index and waist size.
Checking your BMI
To check your BMI, calculate with the formula: weight (kg) / [height (m)]2. If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are classified as underweight. Talk to your physician to find out if your weight is a symptom of a medical problem. A registered dietitian can help you learn about healthy eating.
A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 means that you are in the recommended weight range for your height. However, if you are not getting regular physical activity and practicing healthy eating, being in this range will not guarantee you of being healthy.
From a BMI of 25 to 29.9, you are classified in the overweight category. Alongside this result, you need to check your waist size and other health problems you might have.
A BMI of 30 or higher, places you in the obese category. You need to lose weight and change your eating and activity habits to get healthy and stay healthy.
It’s imperative to remember that our BMI is only one measure of your health. Being thin is not a measure of a healthy lifestyle. A person who is thin, but does not exercise or eat nutritious foods, is still very unhealthy.
After checking your BMI, it’s time to look at your waist size. Your waistline can help you find out how much fat you have stored around your belly. People who store fat around their belly are likely to develop weight-related issues than others. Diseases that are related to weight include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Measure your waist with a tape measure. The tape should not press into your skin but should fit snugly around your waist.
As a standard for most people, the goal for a healthy waist is: less than 40 in. (102 cm) for men and less than 35 in. (88 cm) for women. If you are Asian, the goal is lower: less than 36 in. (91cm) for men, and less than 32 in. (81cmI for women
Consult your nearest medical clinic and check with your physician if you have weight-related health problems like high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, or osteoarthritis, especially if your waist size is high and if you are in the overweight or obese category. Also, be sure you have healthy eating habits and a more active lifestyle.
The bottom line is, if you are unhappy with your weight you have to assess yourself objectively and consult your doctor. However, if you’re at a healthy weight but are still unhappy, you are not alone. A lot of people find it difficult to be satisfied with how they look. Blame it on the unrealistic images of what it means to be slim.
For your own sanity and self-esteem, be reminded that there is no “ideal” body shape or body size. The important thing to ask is if you have plenty of energy and if you feel good about yourself. Are you capable of doing the things you want to do? Or do you have a medical condition that affects your lifestyle? Wake up from your slumber, and don’t be swayed by trends, and take hold of the truth. Rejoice in the truth that God loves you just as much as a size 28 as at a size 8.
The Medical City Dubai CEO and community leader Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Desiderio is the prime promoter of the Philippines as a medical and healthcare destination in the region. She says, “I am essentially a health ambassador not just for my organization, but also for my country.” Above and beyond her professional role Dr. Becky hopes to be recognized as a Missionary Doctor using her work to channel blessings to others. In this issue, she blesses us with some wisdom on weight-related concerns.