What should be the ideal BMI?
Really a tough question to answer from perception point of view as for one person even a 10 kg weight gain may not bother while for other person a weight change of even 1 kg can lead to sleepless nights. However from medical point of view there are clear clinical criteria to gauge if someone is putting on more weight than just require.
So what are the criteria through which I can find out if there is more weight gain.
BMI remains a single most predictor of weight gain. BMI is determined by weight in Kg divided by height in meter square. So we need to exact height in meter and weight in Kg. For example; a person with weight of 70 kg and height of 172 cm or 1.72 meter will have a BMI calculated as 70/1.72*1.72 a means a BMI of 23.7.
The second question is what should be my ideal BMI. For and adult above the age of 18 the ideal BMI is between 18 to 25 kg/m2. If BMI is less than 18 it is called thinness and if BMI is more than 25 but less than 30 it is categorized as overweight and anything beyond 30 is categorized as obesity.
Other way to determine increase fat is by waist circumference. We as Asian may have BMI which is less than <25 still we may be more prone for disease arising out of obesity like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease and reason is increase waist circumference despite normal BMI.
So a waist circumference of more than 90 cm in Asian men and more than 80 cm in Asian women is indirect indicator of increase fat.
For routine monitoring if someone has a weight which more than height – 100 it is considered as increased weight so for example if weight is 80 kg but height is 172 cm that person is 8 kg higher than what is required.
So there is multiple ways to find out if we are getting more weight but important is to recognize it early by any method and take action as appropriate.