Dr. Chopra is now performing DOT and flight (FAA) physicals. Walk-in visits welcome.

Pros and Cons of Using BMI

Pros and Cons of Using BMI

If you’re among the roughly 69% of Americans who carry excess weight, many providers want to know your body mass index (BMI). But is it really helpful?

While your BMI may provide useful information in some cases, it’s not without limitations. That’s why working with a qualified professional can help. 

Our expert team of medical providers at Arundel Medical Group, Inc., located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, provides treatments to help you lose weight for improved overall health.

Let’s examine BMI screenings, including the pros, cons, and helpful alternatives.

How BMI works

Your BMI is based on your height and weight. You can do the math yourself — your weight in pounds divided by the square of your height in inches — or by locating your height and weight on a BMI chart.

A result between 18.5 and 24.9, it’s considered healthy. If your BMI falls below that range, you’re considered underweight. If your BMI falls between 25 and 29.9, you’re considered overweight. For 30 or higher, you’re in the obese category.

Potential BMI benefits 

The BMI tool provides a reasonable body fat estimate for many people. Knowing your score may prompt you to take appropriate action and seek support for your weight challenges to lower your risk for chronic diseases linked with a high BMI, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

BMI limitations

Your ideal weight range is based on a range of factors that go beyond your height. Given that the BMI test only considers height and weight based on averages, it doesn’t account for other factors, such as:

So, if you rely solely on your BMI to assess your weight, you could falsely believe your weight isn’t healthy. And that could fuel self-esteem and body image problems.

You could also have a BMI that falls on the low end of the healthy range and still be dealing with a chronic health condition that needs to be addressed, such as high cholesterol. 

Working around BMI limitations

If you’re concerned about your BMI, our specialists can help determine whether weight loss is necessary by reviewing your overall health. Our team can also use alternate tests, such as your waist-to-hip ratio, which may be more accurate.

If you could benefit from weight loss, we recommend a personalized plan and ongoing support to help you healthfully achieve it. Your plan might include dietary changes, increased exercise, improved sleep habits, or better managing stress. We might also recommend a prescription weight loss medication if you’re a good candidate and screen for underlying conditions behind your weight issues.

To learn more about your BMI or get started with the weight loss support you need, call our office or request an appointment via this website today. 

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