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Educating Your Clients on Body Mass Index

For most individuals, getting healthy revolves around the idea of weight loss or weight management. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. When you are counseling a client on weight or the use of weight loss aids, it’s important for the client to understand the issue of body mass index (BMI).

The Calculations

BMI is a complicated combination of numbers for most to understand. It is a calculation of a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). Health care professionals like to use the BMI instead of other measurements of body fat as it is a simple way to assess body fat. Methods like bioelectrical impedance and underwater weighing are more precise, but BMI is a more common method to develop a general understanding of your health.

The Numbers

The numbers are where most clients will get caught up. How can the trust the number if it varies? The BMI is not a direct measure of body fat and can read incorrectly in the case of people who are very muscular. Muscle weighs more than fat, so someone who is very muscular could have the same BMI as a person with considerably more body fat. Once the BMI rating gets much above 25, though, the odds are high the problem is excess fat rather than excess muscle. Be sure to explain their numbers in comparison to their body; it will help them interpret the meaning of their BMI.

Overall Education

When educating clients, it’s important to help them understand that the BMI is one of the several tools to assess their state of health. While the scale can show weight loss, their BMI could still be above the normal range. The BMI is a screening tool to help determine whether someone is overweight for their height. However, encourage your clients seeking weight loss also to consider other factors such as scale weight, clothing size, and the overall feeling of their bodies energy and ability to do activities they love.

In addition to educating them about the BMI, don’t forget there are other tools. Exercise is critical for sustained weight loss. Supplements, like InterHealth’s Lowat®, can help suppress appetite and promote weight loss and a lower BMI. A blend of Piper betle leaf & Dolichos biflorus seed, Lowat is unique in that it is not a stimulant and can be taken any time of day. You can help your clients on their health journeys, and we can help you. Please contact InterHealth at www.interhealthusa.com or call 1-800-783-4636 for more information.

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