What is BMI?

Often when we write about obesity and bariatric surgery we refer to a person’s “BMI” to explain whether they may be considered overweight, obese, or morbidly obese, and if they qualify for surgical intervention based on their numbers. BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and while measuring a person’s BMI is not an exact measurement of body fat, knowing your BMI can be an assessment for where you fall in the four different weight categories used by the medical community. If you haven’t already measured your BMI, you can determine that number by filling out your information on CHRIAS’ BMI calculator.

Why is Knowing your BMI Important?
Knowing your BMI can help you keep your weight within a healthy range. You’ve probably heard it before, but people who fall in the normal weight range typically experience fewer health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea that plague overweight and obese individuals. Knowing what BMI category you fall within can help you understand what weight is healthy for you, or it can give you direction for what amount of weight loss is recommended to achieve a healthier number.

Is BMI Accurate?
Body Mass Index is a calculation based on your weight divided by the square of your height. While the number can give you a basic estimate of body mass, this calculation does not measure fat, which is a true indicator of obesity. For example, people who are very muscular may have high BMI readings even though their body fat percentage is low. For the average American adult (not children, who have a different scale), this number still gives a solid estimate of whether or not they are in a healthy weight range.

BMI and Bariatric Surgery
Typically, candidates for bariatric surgery like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve in Delaware include those who are considered morbidly obese with a BMI of 40 or higher, or those whose BMI is between 35 to 39.9 and who also have a co-morbidity like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea. Recently, some obesity advocates have been working to provide insurance coverage to those who have BMI of 30 to 34.9 and a serious weight-related problem.

If you have questions about how your BMI effects your health, or whether you qualify for bariatric surgery based on your BMI, please contact us online or by phone at (302) 892-9900. To learn more about bariatric surgery at our excellent Delaware weight loss surgery center, please attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars.

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