Understanding Weight: BMI & Body Fat

Understanding Weight: BMI & Body Fat


Understanding your Body Mass Index (BMI) and Body Fat Percentage is crucial to set attainable goals regarding financial and health goals.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

The term Body Mass Index (BMI) is no more restricted to health and wellness facilities or doctors. It is also widely used in insurance companies. To understand this measurement, you must first know the way to calculate it. Body mass index means height to weight ratio. You can use an online BMI calculator to measure your BMI at home. The formula to calculate this is:

BMI (lbs/inches2) = (weight in pounds x 703) / (height in inches)

The advantage of using this formula is that you can calculate a large number of demographics in a short time span to estimate their health risk. However, it comes with limitations, which is that it does not take in consideration individuals with lower percentage body fat, high percentage body mass, and fitness level.

For example, if there is a sports player whose height is 6 feet, weight 250lbs and body fat is 8.5%. As per the BMI calculation, this person will be considered obese, whereas that is not the case. Individuals with an active lifestyle or competitive sports player are suggested not to depend on BMI to calculate their health risks. While calculating body fat percentage can prove to be a good option to measure overall health in such a case.

What is Body Fat Percentage?

The percentage of fat your body is composed of in comparison to the muscles, bones, skin, hair, tissue, internal organs, etc. in your body is called body fat percentage. There are different methods to calculate this like Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), Infrared Analysis on the Bicep, Hydrostatic weighing, Skin fold calipers and body fat calculator. The reliability to measure your health efficiency depends largely on the type of equipment you select to calculate the body fat percentage.

Again, there is a chance of error in all of these tests. You must choose the one with minimum error record to rely on the results. Also, there are other factors affecting the result such as the equipment. Make sure you do all your tests with one person.

One of the most ideal tests out of all these to get results is hydrostatic weighing. Body fat percentage is calculated by submerging the person into the water and expelling all the air out of the lungs to get an accurate measurement. While this test is too subject to errors as there is a chance of residual air volume left in the lungs while trying to expel the air. In case, hydrostatic weighing is not available, you may opt for other tests as well to get your body fat percentage.

BMI vs Body fat percentage

BMI and body fat percentage test are great instruments to measure overall health risks, but you need to select one from these options depending on your body type as well as the purpose of measuring it.

How is it related to Insurance?

While issuing a life insurance policy, there are various factors that are considered. One of these is the Body Mass Index BMI. It is because it directly affects different metabolic and disease outcome. Which means a person with higher BMI can lead to higher health risks. In such a case, the insurer considers a higher insurance rate. You can calculate the BMI online by entering your details on an online BMI calculator.

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Mike John

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