Measure your Body Mass Index (BMI) every three Months

Obese Middle-aged ManA British charity, The Obesity Management Association (OMA), has advised the nation’s people to check their Body Mass Index (BMI) every 3 months, and to also know the BMI numbers of immediate family members. It’s part of a bid to tackle the country’s growing obesity epidemic, though this is definitely not a problem unique only to the UK.

There’s a rising tide of overweight people getting sick and needing treatment in many of the world’s developed nations. Medical professions are struggling to cope with the excess workload. Most of these health issues are ‘directly related’ to weight, meaning a lot of them could be avoided (in many cases), if only folks adopted a healthier lifestyle.

Any man can calculate his BMI reading with the simple click of a mouse, but getting that BMI number down to the one he wants, is usually a bit easier said than done.


A Brief History of BMI

There’s nothing new in using a formula to calculate obesity. A nineteenth century Belgian statistician named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, first invented the Quetelet Index of Obesity. His method divided a person’s weight in pounds by the square of their height in inches. The results helped determine whether someone was ‘potentially’ overweight or obese.

Imperial BMI Formula
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703

Metric BMI Formula
BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters ) )

The World Health Organisation (WHO), has been using the BMI since the 1980s and does not differentiate between either age or gender.

The National Research Council (NRC), published its own table in 1989 giving different readings for age groups.

The WHO BMI Table The NRC BMI Table

Both the WHO and NRC tables are guides but BMI alone is not the best indicator of potential weight-related health concerns (keep reading). Click images above to enlarge the tables.

The BMI Explained

Keeping tabs on weight is a great starting point for taking good care of health. Every middle-aged man is a different shape and size, obviously, and the BMI is a quick calculation that lets him know if he’s a healthy weight for his height. Now we’ll look at the numbers in more detail.

What’s a HEALTHY BMI for Middle-aged Men?

For men between ages 40 to 64, the ideal BMI number will be somewhere between the 21 to 28 ranges according to the NRC table (see above). If you fit somewhere within this range, you’re considered to be a ‘normal weight’ for your height.

As the BMI numbers rise above 25, so does the potential for health related problems associated with obesity. On the other hand, a BMI which is too low indicates a person is underweight, and that can trigger other kinds of health concerns.

Use the BMI Calculator on the right here to get your own BMI number.

What’s an UNHEALTHY BMI number?

A BMI of 29 or more means it’s time to seriously consider losing weight in most, but not all cases. It’s common knowledge now that being overweight or obese can dramatically increase the potential for health problems, like:

  • Cancers (some)
  • Heart Disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes

An Underweight BMI number also has potential health risks for men. These include:

  • Brittle bones (osteoporosis)
  • Iron deficiency (anaemia)

How Accurate is BMI?

Your BMI is a guide for measuring a healthy weight, and quite a good one too – but it’s not perfect, especially for men with large frames or athletic bodies (muscle actually weighs more than fat). So what this means is muscular men might have a healthy level of body fat even though their BMI number shoots through the roof. Today, waist circumference is also being used as a way to look at the potential for weight-related health problems.

The Importance of Waist circumference

Waist circumference is now considered to be a more accurate measure of future health risk potential than just BMI, especially as we grow older. Men that carry too much fat around the middle have an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. We’ve actually touched on this very issue in an earlier article (see below).

Read: Waist Size – Understanding Belly Fat (opens in a new tab)


Got something to say on BMI or the obesity issue? Please leave your comments below.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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