Is BMI different for athletes?

Body mass index (BMI) is commonly used to classify an individual’s body weight. However, in the case of athletes, who may have a high body weight due to higher lean body mass, BMI may lead to misclassification of the athlete as overweight or obese.

Is BMI accurate for athletes?

For most people, BMI provides a “reasonable measure” of body fat, but is not accurate for athletes (who weigh more because of muscle) or older people who have lost height, he said. Other methods of measuring body fat also have their pros and cons.

What is a good BMI for an athlete?

The American Exercise Council on Exercise recommends a BMI at or above 18.5 and body fat of 14 percent for women and six percent for men. The best athletes in sprint events tend to have a larger mean mass and height than long-distance runners.

Can an athlete have a high BMI?

BMI for Athletes

When you put your weight into the BMI equation, you may get a value greater than 25, putting you in the overweight category, or perhaps greater than 30, classifying you as obese. The CDC admits that some athletic individuals may have a high BMI but a low percentage of body fat.

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What is wrong with BMI for athletes?

An example of the biggest flaw in using BMI

Muscle weighs more than fat (it is denser, a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat). Therefore, BMI will inevitably class muscly, athletic people as fatter than they really are.

What is Usain Bolt’s BMI?

Sprinter Usain Bolt’s BMI, calculated as 24.5, is just within the healthy range. Of course, BMI shouldn’t be used to measure athletes’ health. BMI is the measurement of a person’s weight in kilograms, divided by their height squared in centimetres.

Is it OK to be overweight with muscle?

BMI isn’t perfect

It often identifies fit, muscular people as being overweight or obese. That’s because muscle is more dense than fat, and so weighs more. But muscle tissue burns blood sugar, a good thing, while fat tissue converts blood sugar into fat and stores it, a not-so-good thing.

Can muscle make your BMI higher?

Muscles are denser and heavier than body fat, so if you have high muscle mass, your BMI might indicate that you’re overweight or obese. BMI treats a person’s weight as one entity, instead of accounting for muscles, bone density and fat, which all make up a person’s weight.

What is the ideal weight for athletes?

The “ideal” weight for a 5’2″ female athlete would be 131 lbs. But for a 5’9″ female athlete it would be closer to 163 lbs. Conversely, if a 5’9″ female athlete only weighed 135 lbs (a BMI of 20), that could have a negative impact on their performance potential.

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What is the BMI of an Olympic athlete?

Male Athletes

Sport Age (years) BMI
OVERALL MALE AVERAGE (all sports) 27.2 24.0
Aquatics 24.6 23.7
Archery 25.9 24.8
Athletics 26.9 22.6

Why do athletes have a higher BMI?

“Besides muscle, bone density is a big wild card,” Nelson said. And highly trained athletes are at a greater disadvantage: their excess muscle typically puts them at a higher BMI, so they may actually be considered obese.

Do athletes weigh more?

Body fat percentage

Depending on the type of lifestyle, diet, and activities you engage in, your body will have a different composition. Muscle and fat weigh different amounts. An athletic person may get an inaccurate BMI if their body is made of mostly muscle because it will cause them to weigh more.

Why do athletes weigh more?

Athletes need to develop their muscles because stronger muscles tend to correlate with improved performance as long as the motor skill development is there. Developing muscle mass may increase an athlete’s scale weight.

Do doctors still use BMI?

It is used in population studies, by doctors, personal trainers, and others. However, BMI has some important flaws. For example, it does not measure overall fat or lean tissue (muscle) content. BMI is derived from a simple math formula.

Is BMI better than body fat?

While BMI is a rough estimate of body fat, body fat percentage is a more accurate number. BMI, but not overfat. Likewise, a person of normal weight on the BMI scales may still be overfat and at risk of weight-related diseases.

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