There is a lot of talk about your body mass index, but many people ask, “What is an ideal BMI?” The truth is, that the BMI is just that, an index. This index is a means of measuring whether you are over, under or have an ideal height to weight ratio. An ideal BMI has a lot of variables one needs to add into the calculation as well.
The BMI, or body mass index, is a tool to determine if your height and weight are proportionally healthy, indirectly, one can use this scale to determine if their body has too much fat or not enough. Many people put there insist that they do not want any body fat, they want to be skinny like a model, but just like being over weight, being under weight also causes health issues. For starters, the body needs fat storage, so someone trying to get lower than an ideal BMI is hurting themselves as much as someone who has an elevated body mass index.
The body mass index is a proportional index, meaning that the scale is the same regardless as to whether you are an adult or child. However, that is where the ideal and “normal” weights differ. What may be considered a healthy BMI to an 8 year old, may be a serious health risk to an adult who is trying to interpret the same scale.
For adults, the scale is exact, meaning that an ideal weight for an adult is between 18.5 and 25, however, for children, the scale is changed to a percentile range to determine the categories. For a child, and ideal BMI is somewhere between the 85th and the 5th percentile.
To be as accurate as possible, although the BMI is an inexpensive means of determining how much fat ones body has, it is not its intended purpose. A person who has a high BMI may or may not be fat and over weight. For example, take a body builder who is 5.10″ tall, but has a weight of over 220 pounds, according to this persons BMI, they are over weight, but it is not because of fat, it is because of muscle tissue which weighs substantially more than body fat.
Then another issue comes when people age, as they start to suffer muscle loss and bone deterioration, the BMI chart may say that they are underweight, and in some instances, it may even place them in the starvation category which of course is not true at all.
Just because one has an unhealthy BMI, doe not necessarily mean that they are unhealthy. To find out for sure if you are truly over or under weight, it is important to see a physician who has more advanced techniques to determine this information.