Health

6 BMI Myths You Should Stop Believing In 2019

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BMI means body mass index and is used to measure a person’s body fat in relation to his or her height. BMI does not measure body fat directly, rather it uses an equation to make an appropriation.

This fat measuring tool helps determine whether an individual is underweight, overweight or has a healthy weight with respect to their height.

A high BMI can be a sign of too much fat deposition in the body, while a low BMI could signify low fat in the body.


The higher a person’s BMI, the greater the risk of developing a certain chronic disease, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Also, the lower a person’s BMI, the greater the risk of health problems like bone loss, decreased immune function and anemia.

BMI is applicable mostly to men and women of age 20 and above.

For children age 2 and above, a BMI percentile of a child’s result can be compared to that of other children of the same age and sex an can be used to assess a child’s weight status.

You don’t need a calculator to calculate your BMI.

You can simply use an online BMI calculator. All you need is to enter your height in feet and inches and weight in pounds, and you will get your BMI calculated for you.

Below are the BMI ranges and weight statuses for adults age 20 and older. The data is the same for men and women of all ages and body types.

BMI RANGES AND WEIGHT STATUS FOR CHILDREN ADULTS AGE 20 AND OLDER
BMI WEIGHT STATUS
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 Normal
25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obese

An online BMI calculator for children and adults has been offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are the BMI percentiles and weight statuses for children ages 2 to 19.

BMI PERCENTILE AND WEIGHT STATUS FOR CHILDREN AGES 2 TO 19
PERCENTILE WEIGHT STATUS
Below 5th Underweight
5th to 85th Normal
85th to 95th Overweight
95th and above Obese

The BMI-for-age percentile shows a comparison between a child’s weight to that of other children of the same age and sex.

BMI ranges for children


For example, a percentile of 45 percent means that the child’s weight is greater than that of 45 percent of other children of the same age and sex.

BMI is generally considered to be an inexpensive way of estimating one’s body fat and weight status, but it, however, has its limitations.

Firstly, it can overestimate the amount of body fat in athletes and other people with heavily built bodies.

Secondly, it can also underestimate the amount of body fat in older adults and other people who experience lost muscle mass.

Furthermore, there are many myths related to BMI that people believe easily. These myths are not entirely accurate and are simply some misunderstandings of what a BMI actually means and represent.


Here are 6 BMI myths you should stop believing.

1. A Low BMI Means You Are Healthy.

Obesity is associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. But having a low BMI does not mean you are immune against these and other fat-related health issues.

It is worthy of note that people with low BMI are at a higher risk of developing infections than people who have a healthy weight. This is so because underweight people are often at a higher risk of having a suppressed immune system.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that men and women having a lower BMI are at an increased risk of developing respiratory problems, like lung disease.

It further concludes that the risk of death from respiratory disease is higher in those with low BMI.

Furthermore, thin people can also carry unhealthy fat internally.

It is also a known fact that people with visceral fats are at a higher risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

So, it is not proper to assume you will always be healthy just because you have a low BMI.

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