Body Mass Index app helps measure health risk
Assessing weight and health risks with a BMI app.
Balintfy: Are you looking for a convenient way to stay informed about your weight and possible health risks associated with being overweight or obese? How about a BMI app for that:
Donato: The app is a way for you to calculate your weight in relation to your height, and then it will give you the corresponding BMI number as well as the categories of weight where your body mass index lies.
Balintfy: Karen Donato is the coordinator of overweight and obesity research applications at the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She explains that BMI stands for Body Mass Index.
Donato: It's a useful and practical measure of overweight and obesity. It actually is a number that's calculated from your weight and height and is a very good estimate of total body fat in most people.
Balintfy: For example, a BMI of about 19 to 24 is normal, where a BMI of 30 or more is a sign of obesity. Donato says that having a BMI calculator app makes getting this information easy.
Donato: I think the app is just an easy way for people to calculate your body mass index if you're curious about whether or not you fall within the normal or overweight category as well as in the obese category. It's available on most mobile devices and is readily available.
Balintfy: The BMI calculator can also be used on line, but Donato adds that knowing your BMI is just one part of your health picture.
Donato: Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits in that it can overestimate body fat in athletes or others who have a lot of muscle, or it can also underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.
Balintfy: Donato says that in addition to BMI, it is important to measure your waist circumference since where the fat is located is also important to determining corresponding health risks.
Donato: In addition to BMI, measuring waist circumference is important since if most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you're at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The risk goes up with a waist size greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. Also, body mass index, the higher your body mass index and the higher your waist circumference, the higher your risk for obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, gallstones, and breathing problems.
Balintfy: The BMI calculator and app also help direct you to what to do next depending on your BMI.
Donato: For example, if your BMI is around 27, you're considered overweight and you'll be directed to a page that provides some tips for weight loss success. If you fall in a normal weight category, you will be directed to a page to help you maintain that healthy weight.
Balintfy: The app is available for free from the BMI calculator page on the NHLBI website as well as from the iTunes store. To download the app or find more information about BMI and the importance of a maintaining a healthy weight, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov. For NIH Radio, this is Joe Balintfy— NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®