Healthy Weight Management: Body Mass Index (BMI)

 Abundance of food and lack of physical activity make maintaining healthy weight quite difficult for a number of Americans. Body Mass Index (BMI) is considered a preferred current method of defining healthy weight (it is not appropriate for children younger than 2).

BMI can be determined by dividing weight (in lbs) by the height (in inches), dividing that number by the height (in inches) again, and then multiplying the answer by 703. A BMI of less than 25 is considered the upper limit of healthy weight.

A BMI of 25 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 and more is considered as obesity.   

To prevent excessive weight most people have to eat more fruits and vegetables, be physically more active, reduce intake of high-calorie foods and sugar sweetened drinks. Portion size can also do a trick. According to studies, controlling portion size might reduce energy intake. 

Physical activity is important factor for maintaining healthy weight for all age groups. Different intensities and types of exercise have different effect. Vigorous physical activity is better for body fitness than moderate activity. Resistance exercise increases muscular strength. To reduce the risk of osteoporosis weight-bearing exercise is the best – it maintains the peak bone mass during adulthood and prevents bone loss among aging people. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression.

 For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate – intensity, or 75 minutes (1.5 hours) weekly of vigorous – intensity exercise aerobic physical activity. Preferably adults should increase their physical activity to get more health benefits, and work on muscle strengthening activities as well.