BMI gets drummed into us through school and by health professionals for years as a way to measure how much we should weight. But should you trust BMI, is it even accurate or should we be looking at other ways of measuring ourselves?
What Is BMI
BMI (body mass index) is based on your weight and height and is meant to measure your body’s fat content. The calculation to work this out is BMI = kg/m2.
At the time of writing this, my BMI is my weight in kilograms (100.5kg) divided by my height in meters (1.8m) squared. This gives me a BMI of 31.02 and puts me into the obese category.
The BMI Weight Categories
Using the formula gives you a number which fits into one of four weight categories:
- 18.49 and below – means you are underweight
- 18.5 to 24.99 – means you are of normal weight
- 25 to 29.99 – mean you are overweight
- 30 and above – means you are obese
You can also use a chart like the one below instead of the calculation to work out your BMI much quicker.
Health professionals have actually been using BMI to help decide if a patient is overweight for over 100 years but has only become more open to the public since the 1990s.
Should You Trust BMI
The short answer….
Not as a final answer but as a general guide for the majority of the general public.
The long answer
There are so many different factors involved in measuri
BMI Doesn’t Take Into Account Muscle
Muscle is so dense and compared to fat it takes up a lot less room in your body. So if you are a muscley person, the BMI chart may put you as overweight or even obese.
To put this in perspective, let’s take a look at the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ johnson. He’s a big guy at 196cm tall and weighing 118kg but there doesn’t seem to be an inch of fat on him. You wouldn’t call this guy overweight or obese…. especially to his face.
But, after using the BMI calculator he comes out at 30.72. This would place him in the highest category as being obese, which is insane.
This may be an extreme example but it proves the point.
BMI Doesn’t Indicate Weight Distribution
People with the same BMI can have a completely different body shape and varying risk of disease and health risks. For example, visceral fat (belly fat) is more harmful than fat just under the skin. Visceral fat develops around your organs and can disrupt your body’s ability to balance its energy needs. This can even be the case with thin people with a healthy BMI.
Why Is BMI Still Used?
BMI is still used widely by health professionals because it’s so easy to do and free. Whereas much more in-depth ways to tell would require the use of equipment or may embarrass the patient such as measuring their waste.
Try The BMI Calculator
Try the BMI Calculator below and let me know your results. Do you think it gives a good representation of how you see yourself?