World Fitness: How Do You Weigh In?

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A team of British researchers devised a calculator that weighs you against the world.

Did Olympic fever catch you?  Itching to get sporty and lean?  Before jumping into a new exercise routine, of course respect that classic disclaimer: first consult your doctor, who will check your weight and height and calculate your body mass.

Green Prophet’s brought you gizmos to calculate your carbon footprint, apps to save the planet, and techno-toys to play with global flooding.  Now, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine  have created a calculator to show how you score in the global games of girth.

Using estimates of national body weights obtained from the World Health Organization, mean height statistics from national health surveys, and United Nations’ population size data, the scientists were able to discern average Body Mass Index (BMI) figures for over 170 countries.

BMI is a number calculated from an individual’s height and weight, which can be used as a reliable indicator of body fatness. Plug your own statistics into their calculator to see your personal BMI number, and learn how you stack up. You’ll also see how much the planet would strain (or relax) if everyone on the planet weighed as much as you.

As with all large data sets, the calculation holds a margin of error. A faint band appearing on either side of your indicated BMI measure indicates the probable standard deviation: your result is likely within these boundaries.

BMI can screen for weight categories that may lead to serious health problems.

The USA’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers two BMI calculator widgets that can be used by adults, teens and children to calculate their personal BMI. The CDC calculators also provide your corresponding weight category.

Use this calculator for adults, 20 years old and older, and this one for kids and teens.

Global population is increasing, in both numbers and individual size.  Rapidly urbanizing and quick to adopt the worst of western food trends, Middle Eastern nations are panting their way up the world obesity ladder.

Whether you’re spurred on by the Olympics, or simply embarrassed by being resident in the world’s fattest nations, your fitness plan will get a boost from these simple tools.

Image of different body shapes from Shutterstock

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