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How Useful Is the Body Mass Index in Detecting Obesity?

Dr. Pankaj Mandale 1918 Views
Updated: 16 Jan 2024
Published: 20 Feb 2023
body mass index in detecting obesity

Obesity, an epidemic

Excessive or abnormal fat accumulation, posing a risk to health is what is meant by the term "obesity." Being overweight and obese are both defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI). According to the global burden of disease in 2017, the problem has reached epidemic levels, with over 4 million people dying annually as a result of being overweight or obese. In both adults and children, the prevalence of obesity is rising. Obesity among children and teens aged 5 to 19 more than quadrupled from 4% to 18% globally between 1975 and 2016.

Every region suffers from the double burden of malnutrition, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where there are more obese than underweight people. In the past, obesity was believed to be a problem that only existed in high-income nations, but they are now quickly spreading to low- and middle-income nations, especially in urban areas. In developing nations, the prevalence of obesity is on the rise at a rate that is more than 30% higher than in developed nations.

To lead a healthy life, keeping your BMI in check is crucial. Besides BMI, the obesity profile test has also proven to be life-changing for many obese individuals. You can get your obese profile done with us at Pathkind Labs. We have experts working with us who perform every test effortlessly. Book your appointment now, and get tests at the earliest.

body Mass Index

What exactly is BMI?

The body mass index (BMI) is a simplified formula that uses your height and weight to determine whether your weight is healthy.

If you are wondering how to measure BMI, here is the answer. Weight (kg) divided by height (m) squared yields a person's BMI. High levels of body fat may be indicated by high BMI levels.

  • You are underweight if your BMI is less than 18.5.
  • The healthy weight range is between 18.5 and 25, depending on your BMI.
  • You are considered overweight if your BMI is between 25.0 and 30.
  • The obesity range is defined as a BMI of 30.0 or higher.

Although BMI does not directly measure body fat, it is moderately correlated with more precise measurements of body fat obtained from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, and other techniques. Furthermore, consistent with these more precise measurements of body fatness, BMI appears to be strongly correlated with a number of unfavourable health outcomes.

How effective is BMI at identifying obesity?

Do you know what your BMI is? People are becoming more aware of theirs, just as they are becoming more aware of their cholesterol. You can use a BMI calculator that is available online if you don't know your BMI. Your height and weight are all that is required. Alternatively, you can figure how to measure BMI by using this formula:

BMI = [(weight in pounds) / (height in inches x height in inches)] x 703.

So now that you know what is BMI, does knowing your BMI make a difference? How are you going to use it? The BMI test is not perfect, like the majority of health indicators. For instance, pregnancy or having a lot of muscle mass can affect the results and it may serve as a reliable indicator of health for young children or the elderly. Why is BMI important, then? In general, the risk of developing a variety of conditions linked to being overweight increases with BMI.

According to research, metabolic health- which is correlated with a person's level and distribution of body fat, is frequently misclassified by BMI alone. Additionally, BMI may be particularly unreliable in elderly, pregnant, and active people.

If you want to predict future health rather than current health, BMI may be more helpful. According to studies, people who are in good health but are overweight or obese have a higher risk of eventually developing diabetes or another adverse health condition. However, there can be differences in body composition by race and ethnicity, including the percentage of body fat and level of muscle mass.


For both adults and children, BMI is a reliable indicator of body fat. BMI cannot be used as a diagnostic tool because it cannot measure body fat in a direct manner. BMI should be used as a screening tool to find people who may have weight problems rather than as a way to track population weight status. Do your obesity profile test at a reputable facility, such as Pathkind Labs, for an accurate conclusion. Plus, you can get various other tests including types of blood sugar tests from us for an overall health checkup. We have highly qualified professionals on hand to assist you and are available for online bookings. Both the prevention and finding of the right measurements will be assisted by them.

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