BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. The answer should indicate if you’re underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
BMI is commonly used by doctors to assess your overall health. When it comes to BMI for women, however, the picture becomes hazy.
“BMI is beneficial since it provides a rapid and easy health assessment for the general public. But it’s a one-size-fits-all approach,” Dempers argues. “And there are significant disparities between men and women that could impair its validity as a health indicator.” Women, for example, usually have more body fat than men.
BMI ranges for women
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s standard weight categories can be used to calculate a person’s BMI and determine their appropriate weight range.
|30.0 and higher||Obese|
If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you can use your pre-pregnancy BMI to calculate your advised weight increase.
|BMI before pregnancy||Recommended pregnancy weight gain|
|Below 18.5||28 to 40 pounds|
|18.5-24.9||25 to 35 pounds|
|25.0-29.9||15 to 25 pounds|
|30.0 or higher||11 to 20 pounds|
BMI Formula for Female
The BMI (Body Mass Index) in (kg/m2) is equal to the mass in kilograms (kg) divided by the square height in meters (m):
- BMI(kg/m2) = mass(kg) / height2(m)
The BMI (Body Mass Index) in (kg/m2) is equal to the mass in pounds (lbs) divided by the square height in inches (in) times 703:
- BMI(kg/m2) = mass(lb) / height2(in) × 703
BMI Chart for Female
Is a BMI of 30 OK?
You’re underweight if your weight is less than 18.5 pounds. You’re in the healthy weight range if your weight is between 18.5 and 24.9 pounds. You’re overweight if your weight is between 25 and 29.9. You’re obese if your weight is between 30 and 39.9.
What does a BMI of 30 mean?
A BMI of 30 is considered obese. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 25, you are in the healthy weight zone. If your BMI is between 25.0 and 30, you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30.0 or more, you are considered obese.
What should I do if my BMI is 30?
Overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 30. You are considered overweight, and you should work to lose weight through diet and exercise. At your current weight, you are more susceptible to a range of ailments. You should reduce weight by altering your diet and increasing your physical activity.
Limitations of using BMI to measure Females health
BMI is a contentious metric, with many health experts claiming it should be phased out. “BMI was created 180 years ago, and the majority of their data came from corpses. Since then, both female and male average height and weight have risen,” Dempers notes.
BMI levels for women may also be misleading if you are:
You will have higher muscle mass if you are more active. “Because BMI does not take into account body fat or muscle mass, it is useless for athletes,” says Dempers.
Muscles with a higher density also weigh more, according to Mcdonough. “As a result, BMI values are skewed.” “The majority of athletes will be overweight or obese.”
“The older you become, the more body fat you have,” Mcdonough explains. “Hormone levels decline as women approach menopause. As hormone levels drop, muscular mass drops and abdominal fat rises.”
Even if you are the same weight at 70 as you were at 30, you may have a lot more body fat. Some postmenopausal women with a healthy BMI may actually be overweight or obese, according to research.
An ethnicity other than white
Your body fat distribution and muscle mass might be affected by an ethnicity other than white. Women of Mexican heritage, for example, had greater body fat than white and black women, according to one study. It was also discovered that Black women had higher muscle mass than white or Mexican-American women. However, these disparities are not taken into consideration by BMI.
“Your ethnicity may affect your BMI figure,” Mcdonough explains. “You and another individual may have the same BMI, but your health and risk of obesity-related disorders could be vastly different.”
Researchers have also discovered that different ethnic groups, such as whites, blacks, South Asians, and Middle Easterners, are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes at varying BMI levels. See how BMI may exacerbate health disparities among people of color.
Advantages of BMI
BMI is a simple and inexpensive way to measure one’s weight. In order to determine if a person is underweight or overweight, BMI is a valuable tool. It can also assist people in maintaining a healthy weight, lowering their chance of becoming:
- type 2 diabetes
- cardiovascular disease
- some forms of cancer
Drawbacks to BMI.
BMI does not differentiate between fat, muscle, and bone weight, despite the fact that it corresponds with body fat levels. Because of this, a person’s BMI may be an inaccurate indicator of their overall health. Particularly true for those who are muscular or postmenopausal, have belly fat but are otherwise of moderate weight.
BMI and muscle mass
A person’s muscles are heavier than a person’s fat. A person who is overweight or obese may have a high body weight, even if they have a low body fat percentage, because of the considerable muscular mass they have. A person who has a high BMI and a high muscle mass has a reduced risk of death than someone who has a high BMI and a low muscle mass. However, if this is not taken into consideration by BMI, it could complicate therapy and have an impact on insurance coverage.
BMI and fat percentage
Being overweight can have a negative impact on one’s health. Body fat percentage is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in those with a normal BMI but a high proportion of body fat. Metabolic syndrome is a well-known risk factor. Risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes are included in the metabolic syndrome. It’s important to note that these risk factors include hypertension, obesity, and excessive blood sugar levels.
BMI and age
The body’s muscle, fat, and bone composition changes as we get older. Between the ages of 25 and 65, the average female loses about 13 pounds of muscle and bone mass, while her belly fat grows by four times its previous level. For postmenopausal women, BMI estimations may be erroneous since they may have high body fat percentages but retain a modest BMI. Obesity-related illnesses can be avoided if a person fails to take preventative measures.
Other methods for measuring weight
There are alternative ways to assess a person’s weight, body composition, and risk for specific diseases without using BMI.
Using this method, you can see how much belly fat you have, which is an important indicator of a person’s risk for weight-related illness. With a soft tape measure, anyone can determine their waist circumference.
According to A population survey in Cameroon, waist circumference is the best predictor of diabetes diagnosed via screening.
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
This approach is especially useful for determining the amount of abdominal fat a person has, which is a good predictor of future health problems. However, some researchers trusted Sources claim that taking a person’s waist and hip circumference into consideration as separate figures provides a better assessment of health risks.
A person can calculate their WHR by dividing their waist measurement by the circumference of their hips. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a WHR of 0.85 or below for women means that they have a low risk for weight-related disease.
Diagnostic tests that a doctor may perform include:
- Densitometry: This involves a doctor measuring someone’s body weight while they are in the water. The test compares their weight measurements on land to their measurements in water to calculate body fat percentage. Densitometry generally only takes place in a research setting.
- Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry: X-rays move through fat, muscle, and bone at different rates, so this approach passes two low-level X-rays through the body to calculate relative percentages.
- Bioelectrical impedance (BIA): BIA estimates someone’s body fat percentage by passing a low-level electric current through the body.
- Isotope dilution: In this test, a person drinks water that contains isotopes and then provides samples of bodily fluids. These samples give a doctor information on the individual’s body composition.
- Skinfold measurements: During this test, a doctor will pinch folds of skin and measure their thickness. They will often repeat this at several sites on the body.