Only you are responsible for your weight!

by Dr. S. Russell Vester, MD 22. March 2013 09:00

So now that we have had our basic dimensions measured and our vital signs taken, what have we learned? Let's start with our height and weight. Ouch! We all know that we can't do a thing about our height. We have grown as tall as our genes would let us. You are not responsible for your height. But our weight, brothers and sisters, our weight is our own doing. And we all know it. We are responsible for our weight. Let me say that again in case you glanced over it: We are responsible for our weight.

So we know what we weigh, but what does it mean? Or, to put it less tactfully, how fat am I really?

To understand this we must understand a term that is getting more and more press. That term is "body mass index" or BMI for short. BMI relates your height and weight. It tells us in numbers what our eyes have already told us. For example, two separate people can weigh 200 pounds. If one is five feet tall and the other is six feet tall, these two folks not only look dramatically different, they are going to face a very different range of health issues in their futures. BMI is a useful scientific tool because, in plain terms, it allows those that study such things to understand what level of fatness correlates with what types of health problems. And the correlations, friends and readers, are many. Bummer. Time to put down the Twinkies.

What did you expect?

The BMI formula is this: your weight in pounds divided by the square of your height in inches then multiply this by 703.

              BMI = ((weight in pounds) / (height in inches X height in inches)) X 703

There is tons of stuff out there on the internet about BMI. I would encourage you to spend some time on this if tying you shoes is either not possible or makes you break into a sweat. We will cover some of the most important of these issues in the next blog or two.

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