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Your BMI, your body mass index, is defined as your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters.
If it falls between 18 and 25, you're OK.
Outside those limits you're either underweight (less than 18 = probably emaciation) or overweight (more than 25 = possibly obesity).
What's your's? Click here to see how it works. It requires you to put in your weight in kilograms and height in centimetres or weight in pounds and height in feet/inches: slide the buttons up or down until you see your measurements in the boxes underneath, then read off your BMI in the third column.
Remember to click the male or female button!
This index is only a rough indicator of your condition. If you are very muscular, you may appear to be overweight because muscle weighs more than fat and the 18-25 indication 'safe' range won't apply.
Equally, some very thin people may be quite fit in all other respects, but their index will be under 18. True, they're underweight, but so what? They're fitter than many people within the 18-25 range.
However, if your result is over 25 and you know you aren't fit or muscular, then you should think about ways to improve your weight.
The main indicator of whether you are risk from surplus fat is how much visceral fat you have. Visceral fat stored is the important fat that envelops and protects your liver, spleen, kidney, and heart etc. Too much is 'bad'. This index doesn't tell you this. There are electrical devices you can buy that tell you this but not all are accurate.
If your reading is over 30, then you are generally considered obese and your health is at greater risk. You should definitely think about getting advice and taking action. However, as mentioned above, obesity may not be an issue if you are muscular - see above.
Be aware that, if your obesity is due to inactivity, you are prone to heart disease.
If your reading is under 18, you may be suffering from emaciation. Some people's genes just incline them this way and for them, it's hard to gain weight. (It can be done, however, for most such people, if they build muscle by hard physical work, eg weight-training, and eating enough.)
If, however, you have emaciation because you don't eat enough you may be open to many other kinds of ill-health.
One small point in favour of a minimal diet: you may live longer, if you don't catch any of the diseases that underweight people may be prone to. But a minimal diet probably means you have less energy than other people, catch more acute diseases, and/or may be suffering from yin-deficiency.
Emaciated people often have self-image issues, just like those who are obese.
Acupuncturists can help you feel better in many different ways using skills going back 3000 years! It is also their experience that by balancing the different 'energy processes' (click on zangfu for more on this) in your body, your body will become more efficient, healthier, stronger and will reach your health and physique potential faster.
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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