Having a normal body weight is one of the most important factors affecting our health. If the weight is more than the normal range, it is called overweight or obesity. Conversely, if it is lower than the normal limit, it is malnutrition. Both malnutrition and obesity have harmful effects.
Obesity increases the risk of different diseases. For instance, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, ischemic heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, gallstone, musculoskeletal problems such as disk herniation, and cancer can flare because of obesity. In addition, malnutrition also disturbs the functions of different systems, such as respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems.
To evaluate our weight, we should know the normal range of it. Researchers describe a statistical parameter to assess the population's health status: Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters;
BMI (kg/m^2) = Weight (kg))⁄(Height (m))^2
Scientists categorize weight by using BMI into five groups:
1-Severely underweight: when the BMI is under 16.5 kg.
2-Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5 kg / and more than 16.5 kg.
3-Normal weight: 18 kg / ≤ BMI < 24.9 kg.
4-Overweight: 25 kg / ≤ BMI < 29.9 kg.
5-Obesity: It is more or equal to 30 kg.
This index and these degrees estimate body fat and can be used to target our healthy weight, but in some situations, some changes should be considered. For example, athletes have a high BMI because muscles have a more significant density than other tissues. So they can have a greater BMI. Both children and older people have a different range due to changes in the portion of total body fat by age.
In some races, the normal range is different from others. For example, for Asian people, the normal upper limit decreases to 23 from 25. Therefore, in some evaluations, they have more risks for type 2 diabetes and other diseases compared to other races with the same BMI.
There is a little difference between males and females in terms of body fat percentage. Thus, it is better to consider it besides calculating the BMI.
As some guidelines reveal, waist circumference is also a good indicator of abdominal and body fat. In addition, it can show the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Women having more than 88 cm circumference are considered high-risk individuals. The same number for men is 102 cm.
In conclusion, it is vital to evaluate our weight with a BMI calculator and aim to keep it in a normal range. Having regular exercise and a suitable diet can help us in this way. Moreover, average body weight is one of the best preventive factors for many illnesses.
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