BMI Calculator UAE

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a recognised practical index for assessing your body weight in relation to your height. It is a useful general indication of whether you are within a healthy weight range, underweight, overweight, or obese. As per a recent survey by the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, the obesity prevalence rate in UAE is 31.7%, and the Gulf countries are ranked among the top 40 countries in the world for high obesity rates.  ...read more

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In the UAE, where lifestyle factors such as sedentary behaviour and high-calorie diets have contributed to increasing obesity rates, using a BMI calculator is more relevant than ever. By taking advantage of a BMI calculator, you can better understand your weight status and take appropriate measures to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

This simple, non-invasive method can act as a starting point for you to evaluate your health and fitness levels, empowering you to make informed decisions regarding your diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle choices.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of BMI calculators in the UAE, how to use them, their limitations, and how they can be used along with other health indicators to paint a comprehensive picture of your health status.

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Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a widely utilised metric that estimates an individual's body fat content. Solely relying on weight does not accurately represent a person's health status. For instance, a tall and slim individual may weigh more than a shorter and more rotund person, but the former could still be considered healthier as long as their weight is appropriate for their height. Moreover, the ideal weight will likely vary between men and women with similar heights.

So how can you determine if your weight falls within a healthy range? This is where BMI comes into play. It takes into account your weight and height, assessing whether your weight is suitable for your size. 

How to Calculate BMI - The Formula

The metric formula used to calculate BMI in the UAE is the same formula used worldwide. To calculate the BMI, you just need to have weight in kilograms and height in metres. 

The formula for calculating BMI = Weight (kilogram) x (Height (metre) x Height (metre))

Follow the given steps to calculate the BMI using the formula given above – 

  • Measure your weight in kilograms.
  • Measure your weight in metres.
  • Square your height. For example, if your height is 1.52 metres, multiply it by itself, i.e. 1.52 x 1.52, which is equal to 2.31 metres.
  • Divide your weight by the squared height.
  • The resulting value will be your BMI value, which can be used to classify your weight status according to the standard BMI categories.

Defining BMI Calculator 

As an alternative to the manual calculation, you can also use a BMI calculator to derive the BMI value. This tool is designed to provide a quick and easy assessment of your weight status, helping you identify potential weight-related health concerns.

Being an automated tool, you just need to enter your weight and height measurements in specific units. Upon entering the values, the BMI calculator applies the BMI formula to compute the results. You can access BMI calculators on various health and fitness websites or mobile applications. 

BMI calculators provide a range of benefits for individuals seeking to understand their body weight status and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some of the key benefits of using BMI calculators are listed below – 

  • It is readily available online or on mobile applications, making it easy to access and calculate the body mass index anytime, anywhere. This accessibility can help you monitor your weight and maintain your health goals.
  • The BMI calculator is crucial in identifying if you fall under the underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese categories. This can help in the early detection of potential weight-related problems, allowing you to take the required steps to mitigate these risks and improve your health.
  • You do not require special training or equipment to use the BMI calculator efficiently. Any person without medical expertise can also use the calculator.
  • In a country where lifestyle habits have contributed to the high obese rates, BMI calculators will be useful to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and body. 

This calculator can encourage UAE residents to make decisions about their diet and exercise routines and seek professional advice when necessary.

  • Once you know your BMI is high and your health is at risk, you can work with healthcare professionals to get customised health plans tailored to your needs. These plans may include exercise programs, dietary modifications, or weight management tactics.
  • BMI calculators can also help you track changes in your weight or height over time and monitor your progress towards your health goals.

Difference Between BMI Men Calculator and BMI Women Calculator

The calculation of body mass index is the same for both men and women. Thus, there are no prominent differences between the BMI men calculator and the BMI women calculator.

Nevertheless, the interpretation of BMI may differ slightly for men and women due to differences in body composition. Generally, women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat than men, so BMI may be higher for women than men.

How to Read a BMI Report?

Once you enter the values in the specified fields, the calculator will give you a numerical value. Here is a general categorisation of BMI -

  • Underweight: BMI less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese (Class I): 30 to 34.9
  • Obese (Class II): 35 to 39.9
  • Obese (Class III, or extreme obesity): 40 or higher

For instance, if your weight is 67 kgs and you are 1.7 m tall, then as per the BMI calculation formula, your BMI will be -

BMI = 67/ (1.70 x 1.70) = 23.18

This places you within the normal weight range according to the BMI chart, indicating that you are a healthy individual.

Note: While BMI can serve as a useful screening tool, it has certain limitations. It does not directly measure body fat or account for factors such as muscle mass, bone density, overall fitness level, and distribution of fat, which can vary between individuals.

Health Risks Associated with Being Overweight and Underweight

Let’s take a look at the possible health-related risks associated with being underweight and overweight in the following table - 

Health Risks Overweight Underweight
Cardiovascular Disease Increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides levels Low blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and anaemia that can lead to an increased risk of heart failure and cardiac arrest
Type 2 Diabetes Increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to insulin resistance Low blood sugar levels that can lead to hypoglycaemia, weakness, and fatigue
Joint Problems Increased risk of joint problems due to excessive strain on joints, especially in the knees and hips Weak bones, decreased bone density, and increased risk of fractures
Mental Health Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders due to poor body image, low self-esteem, and social stigma Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders due to malnutrition and poor physical health
Respiratory Problems Increased risk of respiratory problems such as lack of sleep, asthma, and shortness of breath Increased risk of lung infections due to a weakened immune system
Reproductive Health Increased risk of infertility, irregular menstruation cycle, and complications during pregnancy and childbirth Increased risk of infertility, irregular menstruation cycle, and complications during pregnancy and childbirth due to malnutrition and poor physical health
Cancer Increased risk of developing various types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and kidney cancer Increased risk of developing various types of cancer, such as lung, pancreatic, and stomach cancer

Note: The health risks associated with being overweight or underweight are not limited to the ones mentioned in the table. The information is for reference purposes only - please connect with your doctor in case of any health issues.

Using BMI in Combination with Other Health Indicators

A BMI calculator is one of the tools used to address health and body composition. However, it should be interpreted in conjunction with other factors as listed below to get a complete picture of your health status-

  • Body Fat Percentage: Measuring your body fat percentage can provide a more accurate body composition assessment than BMI alone. This can be done through various methods, such as skinfold callipers or bioelectrical impedance.
  • Cholesterol levels: High cholesterol levels can be a risk factor for heart disease and can be measured through a blood test.
  • Waist Circumference: Measuring the circumference of your waist can provide information about the amount of abdominal fat you have, which can be a risk factor for certain health problems.
  • Blood Sugar Levels: High blood sugar levels can be a risk factor for diabetes and other health problems. Sugar levels can be measured through a blood test.
  • Blood Pressure: Another risk factor for many health problems is blood pressure. High blood pressure is an indicator of overall cardiovascular health.

You can discuss with your healthcare provider and know the complete list of health tests that should be done to know your overall health status.

Limitations of BMI Calculators

Though the BMI calculator is a useful tool for evaluating your health and body composition, it has some limitations that should be considered. Let's take a look at some of the key limitations of the BMI calculator – 

  • As discussed, BMI is just a measurement of weight in relation to height and does not take into account other body composition factors, like bone density, muscle mass, or more. For this reason, individuals with a higher muscle mass or bone density may have a higher BMI but still have a healthy body composition.
  • One of the key disadvantages of the BMI calculator is that it does not compute results based on age and gender. For example, older adults may have a higher percentage of body fat, and women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat than men, which can impact BMI value.
  • The BMI calculator does not consider lifestyle factors like physical activity, diet, and stress, which are essential to overall health.
  • BMI calculators do not account for changes in body composition over time, such as changes in muscle mass or fat distribution. This can lead to inaccuracies in assessing long-term health risks.

Tips for Achieving a Healthy BMI

You should aim to achieve a healthy BMI to improve your health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Here are some tips for achieving a healthy BMI – 

  • Set Goals: Whether trying to lose ~1 kg per week or starting a new diet schedule, set small, achievable goals to help you stay motivated.
  • Get Enough Sleep: You should aim to sleep 6-8 hours to regulate your hormones and tackle your metabolism speed and hunger.
  • Choose Healthy Foods: Focus on a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive saturated and trans fats.
  • Monitor Your Portion Sizes: Use smaller plates and pay attention to portion sizes to help control your calorie intake.
  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Practice stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. 
  • Incorporate Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help you burn calories, improve your metabolism, and build lean muscle mass. You should aim to walk at least 20 minutes daily and do strength training exercises at least 2 days weekly for good health.

Conclusion

In the UAE, factors related to lifestyle and others have contributed to increasing obesity rates. To be aware of your ideal weight, using a BMI calculator can be useful. It helps you assess your weight status in relation to your height and detect potential health risks. 

You can take appropriate measures to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by getting a BMI value. However, it is necessary to remember that the BMI calculator has limitations and should be used in combination with other health indicators like blood pressure, waist circumference, cholesterol level, and more. 

To achieve your health goals, you can consult with a healthcare professional and determine what's best for your individual health and develop a customised plan.

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