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What Is BMI? With Charts and Posters

Updated on November 27, 2016

Body Mass Index

Body mass index often shortened for simplicity to BMI, is another statistic that we can track in our health. The body mass index is a number that can more readily be relayed in a chart form that tracks the weight categories from underweight to normal to over weight to obese and beyond.

The BMI is a reliable number and is used by health professionasl to screen you for potential health risks.

BMI is calculated based upon the person's height and weight. It is considered more accurate than just weight along because it provides a better perspective of the amount of fat that the body is retaining.

There are several apps and widgets that can be access to quickly access our own body mass index.

My favorite chart for BMI includes the clip art of the body silhouette. This I feel gives the viewer a visual perspective of what all these numbers on the chart truly means.

As a former Finance Director, I love numbers but numbers that don't tell a story cannot help us. The colorful chart that I find most helpful is the chart that details both the numbers and the ranges in colors but also throws in a reference point of the clip art of the person's body shape.

This clip art of the silhouette is brilliant because it readily conveys the different categories of weight and BMI.

Each human being is different, each human perspective is different, yet if we present the facts along with a diagram or clip art of the body shape, we can better train ourselves and our children.

Body Mass Index, derived from a simple math formula, was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874), a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist


Important Point About Body Mass Index

It is important for us to understand the BMI is a guide and as such it offers a major flaw. Understanding this flaw and using this tool in the manner it was intended - simply as a guide not an absolute is important as we progress on our fitness journey. Here is some background about the index and its inherent flaw:

BMI (Body Mass Index) has been used for over 100 years in population studies, by doctors, personal trainers, and other health care professionals, when deciding whether their patients are overweight. However, BMI has one important flaw - it does not measure your overall fat or lean tissue (muscle) content.

Body Mass Index, derived from a simple math formula, was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874), a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. BMI is said to estimate how fat you are by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. However, as mentioned earlier, the measurement is flawed, especially if the person carries a lot of muscle.

Which do you find more helpful the BMI or the silhouette charts?

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What Do You Think of the Silhouette Charts?

Do you think a personalized chart of your own body weight verses the average verses the obse would be motivational?

Do you think this would serve the patient doctor relationship better?

I like the idea of an objective picture. I feel it would take the burden off the doctor to explain to the client in the ugly words necessary to state - you are obese. Too many people have a distorted picture of themselves. It used to be anorexia where the perception was distorted but for our obese populace, the medical community has issued the weight charts, issued the waist circumference but never a silhouette with their personal body. We have the technology and yet we have not yet implemented this.

Share your thoughts? Do you have a loved one who needs to see their individual silhouette to safeguard their health?


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