The BMI, short for Body Mass Index, is a proven means of classifying people into certain weight categories. The calculation is simple and provides a number that can be easily assigned. But is the BMI really suitable as a guideline for everyone? Especially for children and adolescents? In the following blog post, we deal in detail with the topic of “BMI and youth” and shed light on what needs to be paid particular attention to here.

BMI calculator – why do I need it?

Basically, the BMI calculator can provide a general overview of the respective weight class. For this purpose, body size and weight are put in relation to each other.

You can easily calculate your BMI with the following formula:

  • BMI = body weight in kg / (body height in m)²

To give an example: With a weight of 60kg and a height of 1.75m, the BMI would accordingly be around 19.59.

However, it is also important to consider gender as well as age! From a biological point of view, the body fat percentage is higher in women, while men have a higher muscle percentage. These differences are also reflected in the BMI values for normal weight.

The Verival BMI calculator takes gender into account in the calculation – try it out right away!

BMI kann als Richtwert zum Abnehmen gelten.
BMI can be used as a guideline for losing weight

BMI & age

With age, the calorie requirement, for example, changes along with a few other things. It is true that the older you get, the lower your calorie requirements. However, a slower metabolism occurs with age and an increased fat percentage is also completely normal. Therefore, the ideal BMI value also increases with age.

To illustrate this, the following table provides an overview of BMI values that increase with age.

The ideal BMI for women by age

ageideal BMI value
from 16-2419-24
from 25-3420-25
from 35-4421-26
from 45-5422-27
from 55-6423-28
from 65-9025-30

The ideal BMI for men by age

age ideal BMI value
from 1619-24
from 17-1820-25
from 19-2421-26
from 25-3422-27
from 35-5423-28
from 55-6424-29
from 65-9025-30

Conversely, this means that the ideal or normal BMI is lower the younger you are. But is this really always the case? Is an increased BMI in young people a cause for concern?

What needs to be considered?

Children and adolescents do not always grow at the same rate. It may be that one young person grows taller first and another gains weight first. If one were to look only at the BMI, it would indicate underweight or overweight.

Since the body composition is constantly changing and is therefore not yet at a stable level, the BMI cannot provide a generally valid value.

The solution to this problem is special BMI calculators or bell curves for children and adolescents that look at whether the BMI is within the 90% interval. Anything below 5% or above 95% should be looked at more closely. The advantage of this is that the different development is taken into account and a wider interval is assumed!

Bei Zweifel empfiehlt sich die Rücksprache mit Gesundheitspersonal.
If in doubt, it is advisable to consult health professionals.

In case of doubt, however, it is always advisable to consult the respective doctor.

Advantages BMI calculator for teenagers

Of course, not everything about the BMI calculator is bad! It is good, for example, to get an overview of the approximate weight class. This way you can take countermeasures in time or have it clarified if you notice that your BMI is too high or too low.

In addition, an unhealthy body perception can be “unmasked”: For example, if you perceive yourself as too fat, the BMI can show that you are at a normal weight and there is no reason to worry.

Disadvantages BMI calculator

Of course, there are disadvantages here too. After all, the BMI value is only a key figure and says nothing about how your body weight is made up – whether more fat or muscle, the BMI calculator does not differentiate here. In addition, it does not take into account the food you eat, from which your weight is derived. Cake or fruit is treated the same, so to speak.

Gesunde Ernärhung wird beim BMI indirekt nicht berücksichtigt.
Healthy eating is not indirectly taken into account in the BMI.

As briefly mentioned before, growth can be later or earlier. Therefore, a conventional BMI calculator can give a wrong value without being unhealthy.

Adolescents and young adults in particular often have an unhealthy body image and are most often affected by eating disorders compared to their age. BMI can reinforce disordered eating behaviour by giving the impression that one has too much/too little weight.

Conclusion on BMI

Like the normal BMI calculator, a special BMI calculator for children and adolescents can only give a rough overview of the weight category. Especially with adolescents, growth steps can occur at different times, which is why the BMI as a value loses its significance.

Katharina

Alles rund um's Frühstück und Ernährung möchte ich euch mit gut recherchierten und verständlichen Beiträgen näherbringen. In meiner Freizeit findest du mich deshalb auch oft in der Küche, wo ich mich an neuen Gerichten versuche.