If you have been seen in our offices since October, some of you have likely seen our new ‘Weight Management’ handout that talks about your BMI. No, this was not mass printed to get everyone thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions earlier than usual! Our office, like many other health care providers, participates in a program that aims to improve Medicare by helping eligible clinicians focus on care quality and making patients healthier. As a result, we are required by Medicare to counsel patients in several different health and risk measures, and one that we focus on in an orthopedic setting is weight management.
Our practice follows the outlined standards for using BMI as a tool to calculate health. Looking at the included chart, there are four categories that one can fall into. In our clinic for instance, if BMI is considered ‘Normal’, weight management counseling is not initiated. For all other categories, one would meet criteria for weight management counseling.
You might be asking, “But why use BMI? I’ve read that it isn’t really accurate. Isn’t there a better way to calculate my health?” We totally get it! BMI is just one of the many standards available to calculate general weight classifications. In this blog we are going to take a look at the history of how BMI was implemented in healthcare.
Early in the 19th century, Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet wanted to provide his government with a way to calculate a degree of obesity in the general population, and he developed a formula for what is known as BMI. He came up with the following formula: BMI= Weight in kilograms/height in meters2. But why square the persons height? To be brief, Quetelet had to alter the formula of his equation to match the data available at the time.
Therefore, while not a perfect tool, this was the best tool they had 200 years ago!
Of course, some other limitations in using BMI as a health tool is that it does not allow you to factor in bones, muscle, or body fat percentage of an individual. In other words, if one leads a sedentary lifestyle and has a high body fat percentage, the diagnosis of obesity is valid. Comparatively, a 5’4’’ gymnast that is 150 pounds of pure muscle would have a BMI of 25.7, putting them into the ‘Overweight’ category.
Most people are not extreme athletes, so using BMI in most settings is a simple and fast way to calculate body fat.
What are some other ways to ‘calculate health’?
The Waist-to-Hip Ratio is another tool one can use to calculate obesity. This measurement calculates a person’s waist and hip circumferences to establish where on the body fat is stored. The location of fat stores can indicate those at higher risks for certain health related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Limiting factors with this method include:
- If the patient is a child.
- Being shorter than 5 foot tall.
- Having a BMI that is over 35.
- Human error/taking measurements at different areas of the body.
Are you curious about your own BMI?
Use the calculator provided to see where you fall on the ‘scale’! The providers at Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic can help guide you to take the appropriate steps to reach what ever goals you set for yourself.
Back in Action
Our patients at Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic are very important to us. Here are some great stories from a few of our patients on how they got ‘Back in Action’.
“I got my life back. I can walk, I can ride my bike, i’m in the wellness program at work. Every Wednesday I play sand volleyball and I play golf twice a week.”
A Total Knee Replacement And Still Active As Ever, If Not More Dr. Robert Bruce performed a total knee replacement on Michelle. She had great results.
“I want people to know, don’t put it off. I have the feeling back in my fingers. I don’t have any fire burning. You can’t even see where he worked on me.”
Dr. Walker patient undergoes bilateral carpal tunnel surgery Dr.Walker was able to get this cartoonist back to doing what he loves.
“I know Dr. Samuelson would not do surgery if it was not absolutely necessary. That’s a thing I think between patient and surgeon. I mean, you essentially place your life in their hand and that would be difficult to do if you did not have total trust. Which I do, with Dr. Samuelson.”
400 Miles won’t keep Beth from her Doctor- Dr. Samuelson patient