Obesity has been increasing in Western countries for many years and is getting plenty of press coverage. Some cosmetic surgeons are offering gastric bypass surgery for those who cannot lose excess weight through diet and exercise. It is a way to reduce stomach size so that you feel full quickly and cannot eat more. We do not currently offer that but would not rule it out for the future.

If you want to assess your own weight, one way to do it is by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI (also called Body Mass Indicator) was developed by a Belgian statistician named Adolphe Quelet who lived from 1796 to 1874. It is now an internationally recognized way of measuring obesity.

It is not hard to get your own BMI with a calculator:

  1. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703
  2. Divide the resulting number by your height in inches squared

Here is an Example

Mary weighs 180 pounds and is 5 feet four inches tall (64 inches)

  • 180 multiplied by 703 equals 126,540
  • 64 squared equals 4096 – that is, 64 x 64
  • 126,540 divided by 4096 equals 30.9 (rounded up one decimal point)

Mary’s BMI is 30.89. What does that mean? Here is the meaning of the BMI categories:

  • Below 18.5 Underweight
  • 18.5 through 24.9 Healthy weight
  • 25 through 29.9 Overweight
  • 30 through 39.9 Obese
  • Over 40 Morbidly obese

So Mary is obese but not morbidly obese. Since she is at the lower end of the obese range, she could gain 30 more pounds and still be considered obese but not morbidly obese.

Considering Your BMI

Your BMI alone is useful but needs to be supplemented with other information. Do you have large or heavy bones? Developed muscles? (Muscle weighs more than fat.) Are you male or female? If you are at the low end of the healthy weight range and gain 30 pounds, you could still be in the healthy range, at the top end. Mary’s healthy range is about 110 pounds to 140 pounds.

If you gain 30 pounds, you should probably consider why. Was it just over-eating and/or lack of activity, or is something else happening? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more BMI information and an automatic BMI calculator.

At The Cosmetic Surgical Center, we offer Ultrasonic Liposuction and tummy tucks for shedding unwanted fat. If you would like to know more about these procedures and whether they might be good options for you, please contact our plastic surgery office for a free consultation with Dr. Rai. We serve the areas of Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas.