Does BMI matter?
What exactly is BMI?
BMI, stands for Body Mass Index. Simplified, it is a measure of "fatness"in a majority of the population.
I say, majority of the population, because it doesn't apply to a small percentage of the population, called "athletes". Think of football players. They can be big guys, but they pack a lot of muscle mass. Typically, many of them have high BMI's, but, they are not at risk.
Look at lifestyle factors to determine "at risk".
- A family history of being overweight or obese may put you at risk for disease. You inherit a lot from your parents, and a propensity to obesity might just be one of them. But, science has yet to conclusively state exactly if you "inherit" obesity from your parents. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that it is more likely that you inherit your family's history of lifestyle and environmental exposures.
- Poor nutritional habits will contribute to a high BMI and may put you at risk for disease. If you don't eat the "good things" like fruits and vegetables and lean meats, but you do eat the "bad things" like fast food and processed foods, you might be at risk.
- Lack of physical activity will contribute to a high BMI and may put you at risk for disease. Studies by the CDC report that lack of physical activity may be the single most important factor in reducing disease.
Having a BMI greater than 24.9 is considered overweight. A BMI greater than 30 is considered obese.
Having just one additional risk factor is enough to put you at moderate risk of early disease (cardiovascular, diabetes, etc...). Having at least two additional risk factors puts you at high risk.
What can you do?
The most important thing you can do is change your lifestyle, and do it now. All of the warning signs are there. Don't wait for a diagnosis of disease from your doctor. Your doctor will now be required to report on obesity. Don't be one of those patients. Be preventative. It will cost you less in family stress and financial burden if you act now. It is your choice. You can eat good things. You can avoid bad things. You can move your body. Just do it.