Body Mass Index
BMI - Body Mass Index: a very rough indication
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most well-known measurement of the level of fat in your body. It is easy to calculate: just divide your weight by the square of your height. This provides you with a number which indicates whether you are underweight, at a normal weight, overweight or obese.
However, don’t be too quick to draw conclusions about your health based on this. BMI is not very reliable at the individual level. Read on to understand why this is the case and what you can do to get a better understanding of your fat percentage.
Why BMI was developed?
In the 19th century, Western societies were starting to get more prosperous. For the first time, food was plentiful and obesity was on the rise. The Body Mass Index was devised to keep tabs on the increasing levels of obesity in these populations. When used like this, for large groups, it is reasonably accurate.
Originally, BMI was not meant for assessing individuals. However, it is easy to calculate and requires no measurements besides height and weight. Because it is so simple, it has been used a lot to quickly determine whether someone is at a healthy weight.