BMI – What is BMI and how to check or calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)?


5 min read

A commonly used term with much deeper implications for your body and overall health. Let’s understand more about BMI in this blog and how BMI is calculated.

The world is becoming increasingly aware of their fitness – both physical and mental. In fact, it can be safely remarked that “fitness is the new religion”, which allows you to connect with your inner self and find your true identity. But how to measure physical fitness? The fatness of your body is one reliable indicator of the same. And the most accurate way of measuring one’s body fatness is BMI or Body Mass Index. This blog explores more about what is BMI and its importance in our physical fitness journey.

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What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

BMI is the popular acronym for Body Mass Index. In simple layperson’s terms, it refers to the value that is obtained from a person’s mass (weight) and height. The BMI is an accurate estimate of a person’s body fat which in turn helps determine the risk for diseases in the future due to excessive body fat.

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How to Check Body Mass Index (BMI)?

As mentioned earlier, it is important to assess the accurate BMI of a person to ensure that they have a healthy body weight proportional to their height. It is rather simple to compute your Body Mass Index. You can do so using a simple calculator or via an online app that offers the service of BMI calculators.

How to calculate BMI?

Let us see below how to find BMI using a simple formula:

BMI is calculated by dividing your body weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in metres).

Once you arrive at the result, you can determine which category you fall under by referring to the table below:

BMI Values What They Mean
Lower than 15 kg/m2 Excessively Underweight
Between 15 and 18 kg/m2 Underweight
Between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2 Normal BMI
Between 25 and 30 kg/m2 Overweight
Between 30 and 40 kg/m2 Obese
Over 40 kg/m2 Severely Obese

Based on the results you see on your calculator screen or online app, you can check the category that your body weight falls under (referring to the table above). In case your BMI falls under the underweight or overweight category, make sure to consult a doctor every 6 months and follow medical advice to maintain a healthy BMI.

Know More: What are the Health Risks of Obesity?

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Importance of Body Mass Index (BMI)

Why is there a need to estimate the BMI of a person? And why is it particularly important to ensure that you maintain a healthy BMI throughout? We provide answers to these questions in this section.

An accurate estimation of your BMI can be particularly helpful in assessing whether or not your body weight is healthy and directly proportional to your height. A healthy body weight is an indicator of good health while a disproportionate weight (lower or higher than the suggested normal) can be a sign of various red flags in terms of your health status.

What are the potential risks of higher BMI?

As suggested in the table above, if your BMI is higher than normal, it means that you are overweight or may even be obese (in case of excessively higher values than normal). A higher BMI is usually indicative of several potential risks of the following diseases:

  • Heart problems
  • Musculoskeletal issues
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension

What are the potential risks of lower BMI?

On the other hand, a lower-than-normal BMI may indicate that the person is malnourished or suffers from poor nutrition, in which case they may be at risk of any of the following:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Anaemia
  • Malnutrition

If your BMI is high or low, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor for immediate medical assistance in this area.

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How is Health Insurance Related to Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Knowing your Body Mass Index may be more important than you’d think. It is not only required for knowing the exact status of your health condition but your health insurance, more precisely, the premium of your mediclaim policy, is dependent on your BMI. Let’s understand how.

We already learned above that a higher or lower BMI can be a sign of a health condition. At the time of buying a health insurance policy, every insurer would want to be sure that the policyholder is in the best of health. For this reason, most insurers require prospective policyholders to undertake a medical test or full-body health checkup as well.

During the health checkup, if a lower or higher BMI is reflected, the insurance company would determine the premium of the health insurance plan accordingly. In other words, your premium payable for the mediclaim plan is likely to change as per the shift in your BMI.

This is simply because a disproportional BMI value means trouble for your health and in turn for your health insurer. In both cases (high or low BMI), you are likely to be diagnosed with some health condition. This would mean a loss to the insurance company and therefore they would want to charge a higher premium to cover up for the impending loss.

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Summing it Up

It is important to gauge your BMI from time to time to make sure you are fit and in good health. A healthy BMI value is not only important to achieve your fitness goals but also to keep your health insurance premium in check.

In either case, it would always be helpful to buy a health insurance plan well in advance to cover all types of unexpected contingencies in life, such as a change in BMI values. Get in touch with a health insurance company like PayBima today and receive complete guidance and assistance on how your BMI would affect your health insurance premiums.

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FAQs: What is Body Mass Index (BMI) - How to calculate BMI?

What is a good BMI for my age?

Generally, a BMI ranging between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy for all individuals, both male and female.

How much should a 5’2” female weigh?

The average healthy weight of a female with a height of 5’2” should ideally be between 104 and 135 lbs or 47.1 - 61.2 kg.

What is the normal weight of a woman in kg?

The ideal body weight of a woman is calculated as per a simple formula:
45.4 kg + 0.9 kg x height (cm) - 152.

How to reduce body fat?

The 3 main remedies can help reduce body fat:
Stay on the move as much as possible
Avoid processed foods
Cut down on carbohydrates

What foods lower your BMI?

Whole fruits, vegetables, plant-based oils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are all great sources to keep your BMI under control.


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Feb 02, 2023
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PayBima Team
PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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