• Rukshad jiwasa.

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Foot Health

What is BMI? Most of the time we keep thinking about leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes various measures like eating a balanced meal, engaging in regular exercise, having an adequate amount of sleep, etc.

But before taking these steps you should be aware of your body mass index (BMI) also called the Quetelet Index, which will tell us about your body type and how it will affect our health in the future.

BMI Definition: BMI is a simple indicator of body fat derived from the weight and height values of the individual. It's calculated from a person’s body weight (mass) in kilograms and height in meters which are universally expressed in kg/m². So let’s understand how we can calculate your BMI and learn about your body type better. BMI INTERPRETATION Adults: For adults, BMI is interpreted as a weight status category that is not dependent on sex or age. Teens and Children: In children, the amount of body fat changes as they grow in age. The method to calculate the BMI in children and adults remains the same. However, the interpretation of the BMI value varies depending on the age and the gender of the child.

BMI Classification

Weight Status BMI Range Underweight less than 18.5 kg/m square Normal Weight 18.5 – 24.9 kg/m square Overweight 25 – 29.9 kg/m square Obesity (Class 1) 30 – 34.9 kg/m square Obesity (Class 2) 35 – 39.9 kg/m square Extreme Obesity (Class 3) 40+ kg/m square

WHY IS BMI IMPORTANT? BMI is a good indicator of body fat. Increased BMI leads to the development of many health-related problems that may disturb our lifestyle. Hence, knowing BMI will help one, to live a healthy lifestyle and to prevent further health problems.3

WHAT DOES YOUR BMI INDICATE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH STATUS? BMI is one of the factors which helps determine someone’s overall health risk and what treatment may be appropriate BMI Score Health Risk 18.5- 25 Low Exceeds beyond 30 High

High health risks diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease and type 2 diabetes are prevalent in an obese category whose BMI exceed beyond 30. With an increase in age and weight, the chances of developing all these problems also increase, but the good news is that even a small margin of weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help us to lower our risk of developing these diseases.4

How does BMI influence foot health? Increased Weight- Extra pounds of weight causes tremendous load on knees and feet. This can lead to painful and swollen knees, ankle and feet further leading to foot complications like heel pain, plantar fasciitis, etc. High plantar pressure- Several studies have reported that individuals who have a high BMI are at a higher risk of developing foot pain, flat- feet and considerably higher plantar pressures during routine activities such as walking. Risk of ulceration- Increased pressure on the sole of the foot and other obesity-linked co-morbidities like Diabetes increase the potential risk of blisters, ulceration and tissue injury. Reduced sensation and blood supply in Diabetes along with high foot pressure may further aggravate a diabetic foot.

Balance Problems- Due to weight gain the center of gravity (COG) in our body is shifted from its normal. Also, poor foot health along with this change in COG leads to balance problems and increases the risk of falls. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Sciences in 2016 reports a strong correlation between high BMI with foot pain and poor balance. Considering the detrimental effects of BMI on foot health, it is extremely necessary for us to not only maintain a healthy BMI but also to perform a timely evaluation of our feet. One tool for which assess foot health in terms of pressure, balance, and the manner we walk is an OHM 3000. You can look into our website or consult a Physiotherapist or Diabetologist for more details about S.T.E.P.P.(Stride Test Evaluation for Plantar Pressure) test. Stay tuned for further details and contact us for more information…

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