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BMI or Waistline.

 – BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is meant to be a guide as to whether someone is over-weight. It is calculated by dividing a person’s weight by their height. The units used are kilograms and metres. The formula was first developed by a Belgian scientist/mathematician around 1840. He didn’t call it BMI in those days; that tag came along in the early 1970s.

The trouble is, the formula was not developed as a result of studies and empirical research. It was more a case of a scientist coming up with a neat package and over the years it stuck and became part of everyday medicine.

Many specialists feel it is of little real value and not a true indicator of a person’s health.
A much simpler method is to measure the waist-line. Too much fat around the stomach can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, even if the BMI seems to be healthy.

The healthy limit for men is 37ins or 94cm.
The healthy limit for women is 31.5ins or 80cm.

Any waist measurement over these figures starts to add risk and the higher the measurement, the greater the risk. Even large people, if reasonably fit and healthy, will have waist-lines below these numbers.

To measure the waist, breath out and wrap a tape measure around the body across the belly-button. With an unfortunate result, action needs to be taken.

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