Understanding The BMI Chart For Women
The BMI chart for women is calculated using your height and weight as the main comparison factors. The BMI value for a woman can be an ideal tool for determining whether an individual is overweight, underweight, or within the medically recommended weight range for their height.
Although the BMI value doesn’t show the body fat directly, research has shown that a woman BMI level correlates to her body fat. The BMI approach to calculating your optimum weight is similar to the underwater weighing and DXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry).
To maintain a healthy and ideal BMI value, you need to eat healthy and well-balanced meals. Proper nutrition is vital to keeping a person healthy and ensuring that they get to their optimum physique. There are many different measurement methods that have been devised to help women assess whether their weight is ideal for their height. However, the BMI chart for women remains the most popular method used for this purpose.
Before we learn how to calculate BMI and the importance of BMI chart for women, let’s first analyze what BMI is and what it entails.
BMI Chart for Women - What Is BMI and What Does It Entail ?
Body Mass Index or BMI is a statistical measure of your body weight scaled according to your height. Health and fitness professionals use, as well medical professionals use the BMI chart for women as a simple index of weight-for-height to classify the overweight, underweight, and obese adults. BMI is a useful tool and for many women. It is an accurate way to classify weight. However, it should be used along with other recommended measurements as it does have its limitations. You can calculate the BMI without the use of expensive medical equipment and special knowledge.
Standardized height and weight charts do come with varied value for both women and men. An ideal BMI value for women might be an underweight value for men at times. A BMI chart is typically lined with two comparing factors, weight, and height, either in the x or y-axis. This chart is the ideal graphical tool used by most health care practitioners and even those from the non-health related sectors like fitness professionals. Conversely, those people who are health conscious can use the BMI chart as it is simple to understand and also easy to use.
In most cases, the age-height-weight chart is utilized by the community health professionals and nutritionist who provide home-based care to kids. This is because young kids are in the fast growth stage, and it’s important for their parents to track their growth to ensure that their nutritional level is optimal. Thereby, there is a separate BMI Chart for Children and also the one more generic Age Weight Chart for Men.
Using the BMI Chart for Women - The BMI-Metric Approach
In this method, the BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.
BMI= Weight in Kg/ (height in meters) ²
Since height is frequently expressed in centimeters, divide your height by 100 to change it into meters.
BMI (American Standard Approach)
In the American Standard Approach system, the BMI is calculated by dividing the weight in pounds by height in inches-squared and multiplying the answer by a factor of 703
BMI = (Weight (lbs.) / ((height (in) ²) x 703))
BMI and Ideal Weight Range
After you calculate your BMI value, you can compare your value to the values in the Table #1 below. This will help you determine whether you are in the recommended weight range. For women, anything greater than 25.8 is considered to be at least slightly overweight. The table below should only be used to reference BMI values for women and men. Children and adolescents have a different scale.
For those who don’t want lots of calculation, there’s an alternative approach to calculating the BMI. The table below will help you determine your BMI value without performing any calculations and computations. The X-axis represents your weight while the Y-axis depicts your height.
You need to identify your height first. After that narrow down to your specific weight; where your weight and height intersect represent your BMI value.
The table has been colored to help you determine whether you are underweight, overweight, obese, or you have a healthy weight.
Free Print Version here: BMI Chart
Remember that the above table should only be used by men and women who are 20 years of age and older.
Interpreting Your Results for the BMI Chart for Women
If your BMI value indicates that you are in the underweight section, this could be a sign that you are either eating less than you should, you aren't eating a balanced diet, or you might be ill. Consult your nutritionist or doctor to learn how you can rectify your situations. Being underweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhealthy. You just need to alter your eating habit a little bit. With the help of a professional, you’ll reach your ideal weight easily.
Keep up for the great work. You now need to maintain a healthy weight so that you can continue leading a healthy life. Follow a balanced diet and carry out ideal fitness workouts. For more help on tips to maintaining a healthy weight, you can talk to your nutritionist or health practitioner.
If you are in this section, it’s not too late. All you need to do is to come up with a strategy to shed the excess weight. You need to combine diet and exercise. There are various diets that can help you shed excess weight. It can be difficult to do that on your own, and that's why you need a professional such as a nutritionist so that they can devise a proper diet plan that suits your lifestyle. He/she will help you lose weight in an ideal and healthy way.
In this case, you need to combine exercise and diet and in some cases medication. Talk to your health practitioner as well as a nutritionist for help and advice.
Limitations of the BMI Chart
Your BMI value can indicate whether you have too much weight but it cannot tell if you are carrying too much fat. The BMI value cannot indicate the difference between excess fat, bone, or muscle.
The BMI chart for women doesn’t take into account their age or the amount of fat.
This means that:
- Athletes and women who have slightly toned body may be classed as overweight or even obese even when their body fat is low
- Women who lose muscle as they age may fall in the healthy weight range even when they may be carrying too much fat.
However, the BMI is a convenient and relatively straightforward method of assessing someone’s weight. You can use to understand more about your weight and general health. It is a great starting point.
For women, a better way of knowing whether you are carrying excess weight is by measuring your waist. This will help you know whether you're carrying too much fat around the stomach area, which can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes (see my article on a diabetic diet plan), stroke, and heart disease.
As aforementioned, you can be in the healthy weight range and still have excess tummy fat- which means you are still at a risk of developing these complications.
To measure your waist:
- Locate the area between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips area
- Wrap a tape measure around your waist between these points
- Make sure to breathe out naturally before taking your waist measurements
Regardless of your BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is 80cm or 31.5 inches for women. For men, it's normally 37 inches or more.
You are at high risk if your waist is 88cm or 34 inches or more for women and you should consult your nutritionist or health practitioner as soon as possible.
Significance of BMI
BMI chart for women is a simple, and quick calculation meant for use in classifying individuals who are not physically active and those with an average body composition. It is generally considered a good indicator of whether you are at a healthy weight for your height. Numerous studies have related BMI, especially the overweight or obese BMI values, to an increased risk of developing various diseases and even premature deaths
BMI helps you identify your ideal body weight. Before BMI was commonly used, health practitioners and professionals calculated idyllic body weight for women using a simple mathematic formula where a weight of 100 lb. was assigned for the first five feet of height and 5 lb. was allotted for every additional inch of height. This approach was later disapproved because it was based on the concept of one idyllic weight for all women of a given height.
While also the BMI does not directly indicate body fat, it is more accurate at approximating the degree of the body fatness than weight alone. Besides, because it uses ranges instead of fixed numbers, it does not suggest one absolute ideal weight for each person. Two individuals of the same height could differ in weight significantly and still fall within the healthy weight range.
BMI chart for women is also an important measurement tool. It can roughly indicate one's current health status and diseases risk, based upon the range of obesity. The American Cancer Institute claims that an abnormal BMI (overweight) in women suffering from breast cancer is associated with lower survival rates. Additionally, as the BMI value rises above 25, both cholesterol and blood pressure increase while the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) increases and the healthy cholesterol decreases.
Having understood the BMI chart for women, we can now look at some of the frequently asked questions about BMI.
FAQ About BMI
What is BMI?
It’s an acronym for the Body Mass Index. It provides a measure of the appropriateness of your body weight to your height.
Why is BMI important?
BMI is important as it helps one predict, with significant accuracy, morbidity and mortality rates in populations. This means that BMI can help predict the various diseases a certain population will be exposed to, based on their BMI value.
How is BMI calculated?
BMI is calculated using two parameters; weight and height. The common method of calculating BMI involves dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. There is an alternative method that is well discussed in this text. Use the tables in this text to determine your BMI.
When should BMI be used?
The BMI can be used for all individuals, but the comparison chart is different. There is a BMI chart for women, for men, for children and adolescents, and for the elderly people. The comparison chart differs due to factors such as muscle mass and height increase and reduction. BMI should not be used on people who have been engaging in physical activities as they have acquired significant amounts of muscle mass through workouts. As a result, it will tend to show high levels of body fat than the actual case. It should also not be used on pregnant women.
Is gender a factor in BMI?
Gender is indeed a factor in BMI, even though organizations like WHO uses the same BMI chart for all individual for simplicity purposes. However, biologically it’s well documented that women tend to carry higher amounts of stored fats than men. Women with a BMI in the normal weight range have around 15-20% of the total body weight whereas the percentages in men are 10-15%. The reason women tend to accumulate more fat than their male counterparts is the biological expectation of pregnancy.
Is BMI used by insurers?
Yes, indeed it is used by health and life insurers when assessing application for health, life, trauma, disability, and income protection insurance. On its own, it indicates whether you need medical tests or examinations. However, it is more often used in combination with particular health conditions and other factors.
Is BMI officially recognized?
BMI is officially recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization), and it’s endorsed by a wide range of medical organization and government agencies throughout the world. BMI is extensively used in both public and private sectors in all developed countries.
The BMI Chart for Women - The Bottom Line
Using BMI is a simple task as everything is straightforward. However, if you need some advice or deeper analysis of your BMI, you can call me to learn several things such as how to gain weight if you are overweight, how to maintain a healthy weight, and how to lose weight in a healthy way. Remember, your first consultation is absolutely free.