BMI - Body mass index
The BMI (or Quetelet index) was created by mathematician Lambert
Adolphe Jacques Quetelet between 1830 to 1850 while developing social
physics. He developed the concept of the "average man" as
the central value were by physical measurements can be grouped according
to a normal curve. The concept of the average man began as way of
summarizing some characteristics of the population.
It's intension was to be a statistical measure of the weight of
a person according to their height, today it is more notably used
as a tool to determine the general "health" of a human
being. By "health" I mean whether an individual is underweight,
overweight or the ideal body weight.
One thing that needs to be noted is that the BMI doesn't take in
account such factors as fitness levels, muscle mass, bone structure
and water weight. This calculation isn't necessarily accurate for
certain athletes such as body builders. Typically their muscle mass
is denser than fat, therefore their reading using the BMI index would
put them in the overweight or obese category which obviously this
is not the case. The same goes for long distance/marathon runner who
typically have a low body fat % their BMI reading would typically
show that they are underweight.
BMI takes your weight(lbs) divided by your height (m2) to give
you your body mass index number.
Here are the common definitions of BMI categories:
Starvation: less than 15
Underweight: between 15 - 18.5
Ideal: between 18.5 - 25
Overweight: between 25 - 30
Obese: between 30 - 40
Morbidly Obese: over 40
It is important to keep in mind when using this tool that it is
meant to categorize the population purely for statistical purposes.
The BMI index is a good introductory tool for someone who is considering
weight loss or to determine if your weight loss goals are realistic.