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Feature

March/April 2012

What’s your BMI? And how to check WHO DECIDES WHAT a healthy weight is, and does one size fit all? Since the 1970’s, health professionals have calculated a person’s BMI – or body mass index – as a guide to determining their “fatness”. Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s body weight by the square of their height, and universally the calculation is made by dividing kilograms by metres squared. So, if a person weighs 80 kilograms and is 1.8 metres tall, first square their height (1.8 x 1.8 = 3.24) and then divide this into their weight.Thus 80 divided by 3.24 gives a BMI of 24.7. Once armed with this information, what do you

do with it? Health professionals suggest that a person’s BMI should fall between 20 and 25 to be classed as healthy. If it is below 20 you would be considered underweight and anything above 25 would be classed as overweight, with obesity setting in at a BMI of 30 and morbid obesity at 35 or more. Although a person’s BMI is a useful way of determining if they are at a healthy weight or not, it should be used with caution. Several factors can distort the results and render the BMI meaningless. For example, it is not appropriate for the very young, nor the very old and the excessively tall. Similarly, athletes and others with high muscle mass may appear abnormally overweight. If you would like to find out more or would like help calculating your own BMI, visit www.bbc.co.uk/health or www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator. aspx

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SuggeStIves Mar/Apr 2012  

The March / April edition of the SuggeStIves magazine with details about local events and interests for St Ives in Cambridgeshire.The Septem...