Understanding BMI

The team at Tijuana Bariatric Center offers an online BMI calculator and measurement tool to help patients determine if they are in a generally normal weight range for their height. By doing a calculation, you can determine if you should change your diet, exercise more, or even undergo bariatric surgery.

BMI is often misunderstood as many people don’t understand how to calculate it and what the resulting number means. Let’s consider what it is and how it plays a role in assessing your candidacy for weight loss surgery procedures.

What is BMI?

BMI is an acronym that stands for body mass index. It represents a value that assesses body mass in terms of an individual's height. We arrive at that number by dividing your weight by your height. Tijuana Bariatrics BMI calculator allows you to input your statistics in metric or imperial units, so you can use the system with which you are most familiar.

As a general value, BMI is useful for determining whether or not a person is obese as well as where that person falls in terms of their normal weight range. Many contemporary assessments of obesity can be derived from BMI statistics.

How Accurate Is the BMI at Determining Health?

BMI is generally accurate for assessing wellness with regard to body weight. If you are in the normal weight range, you are less likely to suffer from serious health problems that are linked to obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This isn't to say that people with a normal reading do not experience these problems, but rather that they probably will not experience these health issues as a direct result of obesity.

Not everyone who falls into the obese range may be at risk. Some people, including amateur athletes, may have a higher BMI because muscles are more dense than fat. Thus, they have a higher weight.  High muscle mass throws off the indicator for those individuals. That’s why it’s not an accurate reflection of their health. Many health experts indicate the BMI should not be the sole means of assessing general health and wellness. This number does not reveal the fat versus muscle makeup of some individuals.

Your BMI:

BMI Categories

The following are general weight categories based on BMI:

  • Underweight – less than 18.5
  • Normal Weight – 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight – 25.0-29.9
  • Obesity (Class 1) – 30.0-34.9
  • Severe Obesity (Class 2) – 35.0-39.9
  • Morbid Obesity (Class 3) – 40.0-49.9
  • Super-obesity/Extreme Obesity – greater than 50.0

By using our BMI calculator, you can determine where you are on this range.

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Why BMI Is Important Despite Some Flaws

Even though BMI has some acknowledged flaws it is still a solid standard for assessing weight and wellness in the vast majority of the population. Since most people are not elite athletes, any reading must be performed in combination with body fat assessments and bloodwork to determine if someone is suffering from obesity-related illness. Additionally, some who are quite inactive may have a normal BMI and still have lots of body fat even though they don’t look out of shape.

Body shape and age also affect the numbers along with where fat settles. Research has shown that fat that around your waist is also an important consideration. If extra pounds settle there, you have to pay attention, even if your weight indicates that you are not in the obese range. BMI matters because as one gets older, one’s chance of developing co-morbid conditions increases.

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When to Consider Bariatric Surgery

If you look at your BMI and find that you are in class 1 obesity, class 2 obesity, class 3 obesity or extreme obesity ranges, bariatric surgery may be your preferred option. In such cases, it's common for people to have difficulty losing weight on their own. Your doctor may want you to undergo an assessment for increased health issue risks in the immediate future or down the road, even if you currently don’t suffer from them.

Our staff will be more than happy to discuss your health concerns online, by the phone, or in person, as well as to help you understand how bariatric surgery can improve your overall life and your health.

Discuss Your BMI and Surgery with Our Team

To learn more about BMI, bariatric procedures, and your many options for achieving a healthier lifestyle, be sure to contact our weight loss surgery center today at 800-970-0577. The team Tijuana Bariatric Center is here to help you achieve wellness.

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