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Americans Keen To Know Their BMI With High BMI A Factor In Covid-19 Eligibility

With BMI being one of the factors in Covid-19 vaccine eligibility, many Americans are keen to know what their BMI or body mass index was. But according to experts, the meaning behind those numbers — and how they could be lowered was not always so clear-cut.

Americans Keen To Know Their BMI With High BMI A Factor In Covid-19 Eligibility

Obesity was listed as an underlying medical condition by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an obese person was one who had a body mass index of 30 or higher but under 40. But people having high BMI, did not necessarily mean they were unhealthy.

Americans Keen To Know Their BMI With High BMI A Factor In Covid-19 Eligibility

BMI was a way the amount of fat in one’s body was measured. CDC had created a calculator which both children and adults could use to find their BMI. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 for adults and children was in the normal range, 25 to 29.9 was overweight and 30 and higher being obese. According to the CDC, a BMI of 40 or higher was sometimes categorized as “extreme” or “severe” obesity.

According to Dr Rosen Clifford, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, director, a BMI of over 30 could lead to severe health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Obesity also upped the risk of ending up with a more severe reaction to Covid-19, he added.

According to Clifford, there were some rare cases when a healthy person had an unhealthy BMI number. Weight trainers as also people with athletic builds had highly muscular bodies, which could give them a high BMI number, said Dr. Caroline Apovian, professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center’s Boston University School of Medicine.

Apovian said many football players had a BMI of 30, 35 or even 40, but they were extremely healthy due to the muscle.

If one was not sure whether one’s high BMI number was due to fat or muscle, Apovian recommended consulting a weight loss specialist for specific tests to be conducted.

The first step in lowering one’s BMI was to understand that it was not one’s fault, and take responsibility for one’s body, according to Apovian.

He added one needed to tell oneself that one did not know what had caused it, but one would do something about it.

Alteration of one’s diet constituted an important step of the weight-loss procedure, stressed Clifford. Individuals needed to limit their processed food consumption with vegetables, whole grains, and fruits replacing them.

Another way to lose weight was mindful eating according to Dr Robert Kushner, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He added that was where people slowed down when they ate and enjoyed the food at their table.

He added it was  all about slowing down, putting one’s fork down, planning in advance what one was eating and being aware of portion sizes.

According to experts, people should not go below 1,200 to 1,500 calories daily without the consultation of a weight-loss specialist.

If one was overeating, as per Apovion’s recommendation one needed to create a moderate calorie deficit for lowering one’s BMI. He added that people would do well to start losing around 1 to 2 pounds on a weekly basis which showed one’s efforts were showing off.

The next step for lowering one’s BMI was to exercise.

Clifford added that around 150 minutes of exercise per week, which worked out to roughly 20 minutes of exercise per day, was a great way to lower one’s body weight.

Apovian further recommended weight training at least twice a week as it could build muscle, which then helped in burning fat.

Clifford added that one could take walks to get out of the house, did virtual workouts went to the gym once it was safe to do so.

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