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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Better than BMI

Figuring out whether your weight is in the healthy range involves multiplication, division and calculating your height in inches, squared. If you do all that right, you'll get your Body Mass Index (BMI), which ideally should be in the range of 19 to 24.
Currently the BMI has been sidelined in favor of waist circumference measurements as being a better tool.
Now comes the revision of an old tool I used decades ago when I was in college and studying nutrition for health.
A Nevada professor of applied statistics has come up with an easier formula you probably can do in your head. 
Here's how: for women, the baseline height is 5 feet and the maximum weight limit (MWL) is 125, meaning that if you're 5 feet tall and weigh more than 125 you’re over your MWL. If you're taller, add 4.5 pounds for every extra inch so if you’re 5'5", your MWL would be 147.5 (125 + 22.5). If you’re less than 5 feet tall, subtract 4.5 pounds for every inch below that baseline. 
For men, the baseline height is 5'9" and MWL is 175. For every additional inch, add five pounds (or subtract five for every inch under 5'9"). Results closely correspond to your BMI. 
Professor George Fernandez presented his new method at the Sept. 22, 2009 Nevada Public Health Association Conference.

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