People generally use the BMI for assessing their body weight, because it factors in their age, height and weight. Specifically, it divides your weight in kilos by your height in centimetres, thus giving you a value to assign more precisely depending on your age.
However, you need to be aware that the BMI includes neither your body type nor your fat and muscle percentages. For this reason, the BMI is unsuitable for athletes, the elderly, and pregnant women. A high BMI number therefore does not necessarily mean that a person is unhealthy. In case of doubt, you should always consult your doctor. You can learn more about the BMI and use a BMI calculator at Health Promotion Switzerland.
Too much belly fat is unhealthy
The BMI does not analyse the body fat percentage and is therefore unsuitable for assessing belly fat. Visceral belly fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity and surrounds the organs, and too much of it is unhealthy and will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. You can gauge how much excess fat you have by measuring the abdominal circumference at the level of the navel, for example. Men whose waist is more than 94 centimetres and women whose waist is more than 80 centimetres would do well to reduce it by a few centimetres, or at least to not let it expand even more. On the other hand, men whose waist is more than 102 centimetres and women whose waist is more than 88 centimetres should exercise caution and aim to reduce their respective figures by quite a few centimetres. Doing so would strongly reduce the risk of any secondary diseases.
Body composition analyses
Another way to test your body fat percentage is to use body analysis scales. They work similarly to ordinary bodyweight scales. When using an InBody measuring device, you place both feet on the scale and grab the handles with your hands. After a few seconds, the scale will display different values, such as visceral fat level, the body fat percentage, and the calorie basal metabolic rate. This not only shows whether you are overweight, but also what physical weaknesses you may have. In addition, the device will also make weight and calorie intake recommendations.
SWICA consistently focuses on prevention and promotes activities relating to exercise, nutrition and wellbeing. This is why SWICA customers with healthy preventive habits get benefits of up to CHF 800* a year from their COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance.
*Click here for details of the contribution.