Knowledgebase
What BMI should I be aiming for?
Posted by Weightplan.com Support on 02 October 2012 02:33 PM
What BMI should I be aiming for?

(BMI) Body mass index is a statistical measure of an individual’s weight in relation to his/her height. It is a simple index used by medical and fitness professionals to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. Scientists and medical professionals use BMI to determine health parameters. Within each BMI category there is a range to allow for different body shapes and sizes.
BMI and benefits of having a healthy BMI
The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness; therefore, it does have limitations. It may categorise an athlete as overweight or obese, when in fact they have a low body fat percentage, due to their high muscle mass. In the older person it may categorise them as underweight, when in fact they have a higher body fat percentage, due to their reduced muscle mass. In children BMI centile charts are used to interpret BMI values.
BMI Categories
Less than 15 Very severely underweight
From 15 to 16 Severely underweight
From 16 to 18.5 Underweight
From 18.5 to 25 Normal  (healthy weight)
From 25 to 30 Overweight
From 30 to 35 Moderately obese
From 35 to 40 Severely obese
Over 40 Very severely obese
USA Variance
From 15 and below Very underweight
From 16 to 18.4 Underweight
From 18.5 to 24.9 Normal
From 25 to 29.9 Overweight
From 30 to 34.9 Obese
From 35 and above Very obese
Japan Variance
From 18.5 to 22.9 Normal
From 23 to 24.9 Overweight
25 and above Obese
Singapore Variance
18.4 and below Risk of developing problems such as nutritional deficiency and osteoporosis
18.5 to 22.9 Low risk (healthy range)
23 to 27.4 Moderate risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes
27.5 and above High risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes
BMI Limitations
BMI is particularly inaccurate for people who are fit or athletic. The higher muscle mass tends to put them in the "overweight" BMI category, even though their body fat percentages is low. BMI also does not account for body frame size; A person may have a small frame and be carrying too much excess fat, but their BMI reflects that they are 'healthy'. Also a large framed individual may be quite healthy with a fairly low body fat percentage, but be classified as 'overweight' by BMI. 
A further limitation of BMI relates to loss of height as you age.
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