September 6, 2021 | Written By: Nurul Afiqah
A person's weight can affect their appearance and self-confidence. There are a handful of people who are obsessed with being thin and fear obesity. People are often haunted by spiteful remarks such as "Why are you so thin, don’t you eat?" or "You eat a lot, no wonder you’re so fat". So, which one is correct; being fat or skinny? Is being skinny better than fat? How exactly do they mean by fat? To answer the chain of questions, you need to know about the meaning of ideal weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) first.
How To Calculate BMI?
The BMI Formula
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a formula for assessing your body mass based on your weight and height. It is calculated using the bmi formula as follows:
BMI = ________________________
Height (meters) x Height (meters)
After getting your BMI calculated, you can see where your body mass falls in the BMI category. According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia, BMI can be divided into 4 categories.
BMI value (kg / m²)
18.5 or less
You are advised to talk to your doctor about the risks of health problems.
18.5 to 24.5
Normal or healthy weight
Continue to exercise and eat a healthy and balanced diet.
25 to 30
You are at high risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes. Get a checkup and consultation with a doctor for healthy lifestyle changes to achieve your ideal weight
30 or more
You are at high risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and overall, your general health will be lowered. You are strongly advised to get an examination and consultation with your doctor.
The way to calculate BMI is very simple. You just need to include your weight and height in the BMI formula as stated above. Based on the BMI category, the normal BMI value target is between 18.5 to 24.5 kg/m². You just have to calculate using a very simple equation. For example; a man with a height of 1.7 meters and weighs 69 kg will have a BMI of:
69 / (1.7 x 1.7) = 23.9 kg / m2
Therefore, to calculate your ideal weight, you have to use the BMI formula by entering the desired BMI and your height. For example, a man with a height of 1.7 meters, the ideal weight of the man is:
(normal BMI) (height x height) = normal / ideal weight
(18.5 to 24.5) (1.7 x 1.7) = 53.5 kg to 70.8 kg
Isn’t it easy to calculate BMI? Well done! Fat or skinny, both does not only evaluated based on the naked eye and body shape but based on the BMI. However, it should be noted that this calculation is only suitable for assessing the ideal weight of adult women and men aged between 18 and 64 years. For children, it is less suitable to use the above formula. So, how do you evaluate the body mass index for a child?
The different heights and sizes in each child are due to many factors such as the different growth rates of each child. Parents should not compare their children with other children. Just like knowing your own BMI, knowing BMI for your little one can also help you determine whether he or she is growing at an appropriate rate or not based on their age. The method of calculating the child’s BMI is the same which is weight (kg) / height (m) x height (m). After that, you can refer to the child growth reference chart to find out your child's BMI category. The growth chart usually can be found in the child growth development book that you bring to the clinic every time your baby got a check-up Otherwise, you can ask your doctor about it.
Why Is It Important To Have An Ideal Weight?
Ideal weight is very important for everyone. It is not recommended to be overweight or obese neither anorexic thin. A good weight is one that suits your height and can be calculated with the Weight Index Index or BMI formula as described above.
Having an ideal weight or a balanced weight is important for your health. Being overweight, will increase the risk of health problems. It is also one of the ways to prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. BMI that are above 30 kg/m² are categorized as obese but having too low BMI is also not good, it increases the risk for health problems such as anemia, decreased immunity to bacterial infections and chronic fatigue. This proves the importance of having the ideal weight for you based on your BMI results.
How To Gain An Ideal Weight?
After knowing your and your child’s BMI category, you can determine a balanced weight target for you and your family. There are several ways to gain an ideal weight, which are:
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is important in your daily life. You should eat healthy food in moderation with the reference from the Malaysian Food Pyramid. Never restrict yourself from eating or limiting calorie intake if you are very hungry. Doing such a thing will result in you eating more afterward. Reduce foods high in sugar and fat such as cakes, pastries, creams, butter and fatty meats. Avoid eating or drinking while watching television or reading. Set realistic targets in weight loss. For example, the target to lose weight by half a kilogram in a week. Weigh yourself once a week and it is best to weigh before you eat.
Routine exercise activities
Regular exercise can burn calories and reduce fat in the body. You do not have to be active in sports, exercise with light workouts such as jogging and cycling is enough. Do moderate exercise such as swimming, brisk walking and cycling for at least 60 minutes, five to six days a week.
Consult a doctor
You can consult with a doctor to identify related medical, biological or physiological problems that can contribute to being overweight or underweight. In addition, seeking advice from a nutritionist for information on your weight management would help. Get support from your friends and family to stay motivated.
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