Though it has been used for decades as the go-to measurement for your health based on your size, it has been widely criticized for its oversimplification of what being healthy really means. In fact, many claim BMI is outdated, inaccurate, and shouldn’t be used in medical and fitness settings.
Why the BMI scale is wrong?
BMI (body mass index), which is based on the height and weight of a person, is an inaccurate measure of body fat content and does not take into account muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences, say researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
What is more accurate than BMI?
Waist-to-height ratio more accurate than BMI in identifying obesity, new study shows. Summary: Calculating a person’s waist-to-height ratio is the most accurate and efficient way of identifying whether or not they are at risk of obesity in clinical practice, a new study shows.
Can BMI be misleading?
As most of us fitness-focused folks have likely heard, BMI is far from a perfect measurement. Much of the time, and often when it really counts, the BMI measurement may actually overestimate or even underestimate a person’s body fat. And when it does, it really does.
Why is BMI not a good health indicator?
BMI is not an accurate predictor of health because it does not account for body fat percentage or body fat distribution. In addition, BMI cannot accurately predict the health of different demographics and races because it was created with data from only white Europeans.
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.
What should I use instead of BMI?
Better than BMI: 4 ways to track your health besides the scale
- Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) The cousin of the BMI, waist-to-height ratio compares — you guessed it — waist circumference to height, rather than overall weight to height squared. …
- Measurements. …
- Resting heart rate (RHR) …
- Skinfold Calipers.
What is a healthy weight not BMI?
If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range. If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Is body fat a better indicator than BMI?
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.
How do I make my BMI more accurate?
To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, then multiply the results by a conversion factor of 703. For someone who is 5 feet 5 inches tall (65 inches) and weighs 150 pounds, the calculation would look like this: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96.
What is a bad BMI score?
Body Mass Index (BMI)
|Obesity||30.0 and Above|
Is BMI 30 really obese?
The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems. A healthy weight is considered to be a BMI of 24 or less. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.
Is it bad to be overweight with muscle?
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.
What is the best BMI for a woman?
A BMI of 18.5–24.9 is considered normal or healthy for most women. Even though healthcare professionals can use BMI as a screening tool, they shouldn’t use it as a method to evaluate a person’s body fat levels or health status ( 32 ).
What is the best indicator of overall health?
Body mass index or BMI has long been the standard for measuring health. The simple formula is widely used to classify whether our weight falls within a “healthy” range for our height. BMI provides an estimate of a person’s overall disease risk, and is used around the world to measure obesity.
Is BMI a good health indicator?
BMI is a useful indicator of health at the population level. However, the distribution of fat on your body is more important that the amount, when assessing your disease risk. For this reason, your waist circumference is thought to be a better predictor of health risk than your BMI.