How Important Is Your BMI With Regards to Your Health?
Did you know that Body Mass Index (BMI) was devised in the 1800s? Given that we are now in the 21st century, this scale of measuring healthy weight levels is extremely simplistic. Losing weight the natural way by adapting your lifestyle and eating naturally is more sustainable than short-term crash dieting or cutting out food groups but should you be measuring your BMI to determine how healthy you are?
Being overweight strongly correlates with increased diabetes risk. However, studies have shown that waist size is linked to the risk of developing diabetes, regardless of BMI. Males with a waist size of 40.2 inches were found to have the same or higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than obese males showing that BMI may not be quite as accurate as once thought when determining how healthy you are. An individual with slim legs and arms may still carry much weight around their middle ergo BMI measurements may not necessarily indicate you are overweight and at risk of diabetes.
Weight and Diet
Body Mass Index is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. However, this does not take into account muscle mass, water weight and individual characteristics. There is a high chance you will be diagnosed as underweight or overweight even when you are not. Slim people may still have high levels of fat around the organs making BMI a poor indicator of the risk factors for stroke, arthritis and even dementia. Those who appear overweight may exercise and eat a balanced diet. The most effective way to stay healthy inside and out is to eat naturally. Eating a high fat, low carb diet can encourage weight loss if portion controlled but eating all natural foods instead can be healthier. Studies show that organic foods contain higher levels of healthy antioxidants meaning you will obtain more nutrition from fewer portions.
Effects of Stress
Outside factors such as stress and mental illnesses can have an effect on overall health. Those with a healthy BMI may still be at risk of other conditions such as high blood pressure. Recent research showed that increased activity in a certain area of the brain leads to excess production of white blood cells. Chronic stress also contributes to the production of more white blood cells which form plaques in the blood vessels causing heart disease. Although stress can lead to overeating causing health issues, stress appears to independently have an effect on health regardless of BMI.
Taking your overall lifestyle into account should have more ‘weight’ than merely measuring your BMI or weight in general. Your state of mind, how healthy you look, your approach to stressors and your attitude to diet and exercise will all factor in when it comes to your long-term health.