BMI: Body Mass Index – What is it?

Why BMI is important and how to calculate it.

BMI stands for body mass index. It’s a simple system for calculating the fat, muscle, and bone of a person to put them into a weight category.

Though not perfect, BMI can nonetheless be a useful way to self-assess and place yourself in a category.

The categories vary around the world, but one of the simplest iterations can be seen in this chart from

BMI Chart

The simple scale uses the categories of underweight, normal, overweight, obese, and morbidly obese.

People who do not fall within the ‘normal’ category are more likely to develop health problems such as coronary artery disease, diabetes and sleep apnea. If you feel you are in one the at-risk categories, you should seek advice from your GP.


How to calculate you BMI

You can calculate you BMI using the chart above, but the NHS also provide a very useful online calculator that takes into account more factor than just your height and weight

BMI Calculator


Is BMI important?

It’s important to remember that BMI is a relatively crude way to assess if someone is overweight. Someone who has a great deal of muscle mass may be placed in one of the at-risk categories erroneously.

There are more accurate methods of measuring fat. At our clinics, we use Tanita scales, which utilise electrical pulses to approximate the percentage of fat in a person’s weight.

More accurate technology exists in the form of full body scanners which work in a similar way to our scales but take readings in fat more places.

To this day, one of the most accurate methods for measuring fat are callipers.


So, while BMI itself may not be that important, an accurate assessment of fat/weight is very useful when choosing a weight reduction treatment at VIVO Clinic. Getting this information will help choose the most effective treatment and give us a better idea of the number of treatments that will be required.



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