Body Mass Index (BMI):
The body mass index or BMI is a measure of the mass of a person in relation to the height. It is an inexpensive measure to ascertain the extent of body fat present in a person. It is generally used to track the weight and fat distribution of people. A higher BMI indicates obesity. It is a screening tool that helps medical practitioners assess the risk of a person to many non-communicable diseases like diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorder, musculoskeletal disorders and many others. Though it is not an accurate indicator, BMI measurements help medical practitioners in prescribing diet, physical activity, and other diagnostic tests. In the Metric scale, BMI is measured by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by the height in meters squared. If the BMI is below 18.5, then they are considered underweight. If it is between 18.5 and 24.9, then the weight is in healthy range. If the BMI is between 25 and 29.9, then the person is overweight. If the BMI is 30 or above, then the person is obese. Some medical experts feel that BMI has its limitations as it does not take the age of a person and the gender into the consideration. Since men and women, and young and old have different amounts of fat stored in their bodies, this measure might not be accurate. Moreover, BMI does not measure the fat distribution in the body.