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BMI: How Weight Affects Your Health and Insurance Coverage

Body Mass Index (BMI), while not a perfect way to judge the general level of a person's health, is commonly used by insurance companies to determine whether individuals are underweight, normal, obese, or morbidly obese. A person's BMI is usually subject to a number of outside factors beyond their control including, age, ethnicity, bone structure, fitness levels, simple genetics, and muscle mass.

Diets have been in vogue for many years now, and you the consumer have a wide range of dieting options available. However, many individuals always ask the question, is there a diet that has quick, easy, and efficient results? The answer is that no matter how many fashionable diets you try, you will always have to work to loose weight. However, scientists are constantly reevaluating our opinions with healthy diets, eating habits, new ideas, and new theories are emerging every day.

The latest series of studies suggest that having soup or salad before the main course of a meal can help curb an individual's appetite and promote weight loss. Eating heavy starch foods like pasta, rice and bread after 7:00pm is not a good idea as your body will not undergo enough physical stress after this time to burn off all of the carbohydrates consumed. That is unless you went for 15km run at 9:00pm. Eating slowly and stopping when you are full can also decrease potential weight gain.

Obesity is one of the leading causes of serious health issues around the world, especially in first world countries. Obese people have a higher propensity for developing a number of conditions including diseases that affect a person's heart, stomach, lungs, skin, skeleton, and brain. Secondly, as BMI is used by insurance companies to determine if you are insurable, it is important that your BMI falls within the normal range. Otherwise you could find yourself without adequate protection should you develop a serious medical condition.

The four BMI types fall into these ranges; persons who are classified as underweight will have a BMI of below 18.5, normal weight will have a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9, overweight is from 25.0 and 29.9, and grossly overweight individuals will have a BMI of above 30. While BMI is used by insurance companies to determine an individual's body type, it may not be the best tool. Taking a person's Body Fat Percentage into account can give a much better overall image of whether that individual is healthy or not. For the time being, insurance companies will continue to use BMI so eat your soup and check the scales.