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What is BMI and Why Does My Doctor Keep Talking About It?

If you haven’t heard your doctor talking about your BMI at your last doctor’s visit, it’s probably because it’s in a normal range. If you have heard those 3 letters while you were sitting in that cold room on the leather exam table, I want to bring you up to speed on what it all means.

What is BMI?

Your BMI, Body Mass Index, is a health indicator. What that means is, your doctor uses it to identify other diseases or disorders that you may be at risk for.

A BMI that is out of normal range can be a risk factor for conditions that are related to being overweight. Some of those conditions and diseases include obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes (high blood sugar), sleep apnea (periods of not breathing while sleeping) and heart disease to name a few.

How is BMI Calculated?

Your height and your weight are the only factors used in calculating your BMI. There are BMI charts and calculators that can be used to find the lucky number.

Your BMI can fall into one of these categories: Normal, Overweight, Obese Class I, Obese Class II, Obese Class III and even Underweight (Yes, there are people out there who have this issue).

What Does My BMI Say?

A normal BMI is 18.5 – 24.9 and if your BMI is 30 or more, you are in the obese category. The diseases I mentioned earlier become more of a possibility when your BMI falls into one of the obese categories.

A high BMI is associated with a poor quality of life and health due to the complications associated with obesity. Your doctors will also look at other numbers like blood pressure, A1c and cholesterol to determine your health risks.

How Much is My BMI Costing Me?

Your high BMI may be breaking your bank along with putting you at risk for serious health conditions. People with a high BMI tend to have more visits to doctor’s offices and specialists, prescription medications and grocery bills.

Along with that, your health insurance company may deny you of some procedures, like joint replacement surgery, due to a high BMI. A recent study showed that a high BMI could cost you more than $7,000 per year! Yikes!

What Can I Do to Control My BMI?

You can’t add any permanent inches to your height so, the only part of your BMI that you can control is your weight. Managing your weight with a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise, stress management and self-care is key to taking control of your BMI.

You can do it! Just tackle one thing at a time. Once you’ve mastered drinking at least 64 oz of water each day then, maybe you can add on walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Start small and grow into a healthy BMI and lifestyle! I guarantee that your body will thank you for it.

Check out the video on Instagram @drcandace!

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