Before we can talk about Body Mass Index (BMI), we need to understand why it’s so important to talk about. There is one statistic from the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (released by Stats SA) that outlines why:
While the percentage of overweight or obesity is similar among urban and non-urban women (68% and 66%, respectively), the prevalence is modestly higher among men in urban areas than among those in non-urban areas (34% and 26%, respectively).Statistics SA
2 in 3 South African women are obese
This means that 66% to 68% of South African women are obese – 2 in 3! Obesity is a huge problem because it’s a complication for so many health conditions, including diabetes. This is from the World Health Organisation (WHO):
Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death worldwide. Being overweight can also lead to diabetes and its associated conditions, including blindness, limb amputations, and the need for dialysis.World Health Organisation
What is BMI?
So why does BMI matter? In short, BMI tells you if you are in the healthy weight range, or if you are underweight, overweight or obese. It’s a simple calculation that looks at your height and weight, and gives you a number: on a range between 18.5 and 40.0.
Easy BMI calculator
You can do the calculation yourself by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres (squared):
weight (kg) / height (m)²
Or you can use this easy calculator: https://bmicalculatorsouthafrica.com
What to read next? Weight loss tips
- Weight loss tips for diabetics: Simple, practical tips to get started.
- What to eat to lose weight: How to plan your eating plan so that you can lose weight.
- How much to eat to lose weight: Choosing the right portions for weight loss.
- Fat loss and diabetes: The first step in this journey is motivation.
- Healthy habits for Type 2 diabetes: Healthy habits will keep you at your ideal weight.
- Maintaining a healthy weight with diabetes: How to lose and gain weight in a healthy way.