Learn about BMI for women

November 12, 2012

Learn about BMI for women

Your body mass or BMI is an easily calculated ratio of your weight and height. Doctors use BMI for women and men to give them a quick estimation of how much body fat they are storing. Women for biological reasons, naturally tend to store higher amounts of fat than men so some women and doctors prefer to use a slightly altered BMI for women. Making some tweaks to the ranges, gives a more accurate estimation of fat levels and whether or not you are at any risk of health problems due to being over weight.

In order to calculate your BMI for women and men, you need to do a simple mathematical sum. Take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 703. You then need to divide this number by the square of your height in inches. The number you arrive at is your BMI value. Most medical experts agree that a BMI below 18.5 suggests that you are underweight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is the normal or ideal weight and anyone with a BMI of 25 and up is over weight. Additionally it is generally considered that anyone with a BMI over 30 may be obese.

In the US, around two thirds of adults are over weight with around one third reflecting this in their BMI values of over 30. Of these individuals, more men make up the over weight people but there are more women in the obese BMI range. However, as it was mentioned earlier women are naturally built to carry more fat than men. This means that a man and woman with the same BMI do not necessarily have the same amount of stored body fat. In fact it is quite likely that the woman’s body fat levels are higher. This is one example of the how the BMI for women is not an incredibly accurate measure as the woman may be at higher risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and diabetes than she realises.

There are not only risks to being overweight as there are many complications and health problems that can occur due to being underweight. In fact in extreme cases the risks of being underweight are far greater. If you fall into the underweight range of the BMI for women in particular it can cause serious symptoms. First of all you will probably notice irregularities with your menstrual period possibly leading to them stopping all together. This can cause infertility or other pregnancy problems later in life. If you are very underweight it is likely that you’re malnourished, which increases the risk of developing conditions such as anaemia and osteoporosis. Researchers believe that the BMI is most accurate for men and women around the age of 18. As they reach there 30’s the BMI for women becomes less and less accurate. It is believed that the scale should be altered to allow for differences between men and women and also an increase in age.

Tags: ,

Category: Articles