Health conscious people most times worry too much about the effects of diet on their weight. I have always thought that the best gauge of a healthy diet or lifestyle can be found in our body mass index. Body mass index goes beyond how heavy you look, and factors how tall you are in determining if you need a drastic change in diet and lifestyle. Simply put, it is the ratio of body weight in kilograms to body height in meters.
If you are not good with figures like me, there are several online sites to calculate your body mass index. It is easy. Weigh yourself on a scale; use a tape and measure your height in meters; then go to this website and input the figures in the appropriate boxes and click ‘calculate’ and presto! You have your result. You are overweight if your body mass index is 25 or over.
A body mass index of 25 or over should get your thinking real hard about changing your lifestyle and diet. And if you think you can just coast along because you feel the alarm bells are not loud enough, maybe taking a look at the health issues that could affect you with an over 25 body mass index would do the trick for you.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common form of diabetes where the body cannot make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose at normal levels. A high body mass could surely put your on the painful path to this form of diabetes. You certainly would love it if your day does not include taking breaks to inject yourself with insulin to make up for the shortfall in your body, wouldn’t you?
Though if you already have type 2 diabetes, you can control it with proper diet and consistent exercise. The irony being that, one could prevent the ailment doing the same thing: proper diet and exercise.
Risk of Hypertension
If the fear of diabetes isn’t enough to make you take action, the fear of hypertension should. Also known as high blood pressure, this problem is noticeable when the blood pressure in the arteries are consistently higher than normal. Hypertension is regularly linked to a high body mass index. If your next question is, ‘I am overweight, I have hypertension. So what?’ Be advised that prolonged hypertension is the major factor for various kinds of heart diseases like stroke and heart failure. As well as chronic kidney disease, loss of vision, and narrowing the of body’s arteries which on its own can lead to several serious health issues.
Joint Pains and Aches
Medically known as osteoarthritis, it is the most common form of diseases that affect the joints. The major symptoms are pains and stiffness of the joints especially those supporting the body’s weight. We are talking knees and ankles here. So if you don’t want to start walking around like a geriatric in the prime of your life, you’d better do something about your unhealthy body mass index.
A high body mass index can also cause a potentially serious sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the culprit when you have one or more pauses in breathing while you are sleeping. Shallow breaths also occur if you have this condition while sleeping. As a result, you sleep is being constantly interrupted as your body tries to resume breathing normally. The effect of this is a poor night’s sleep.
The consequences of having a bad night are well known. One becomes irritable during the day. And the tendency to fall asleep while working is all too common. This has a serious negative impact on productivity during the day.
By the way, I calculated my body mass index and got a 28.7! I am mortified! Now I believe all those busy bodies who kept telling me I was overweight. I never took them seriously because I don’t have a pot belly and I work out from time to time. I guess I need to re-think my diet asap and increase the frequency of my workouts.
One last thing: don’t go jumping around and celebrating with a cup of coffee if your body mass index is below 18.5. You are seriously underweight and that is not good for your health either. So you better bulk up fast.