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Is Your BMI really a good measure of health?

Updated: Sep 27

Nowadays, there have been different perspective on using the body mass index (also known as BMI) to measure the body fat of an individual. Some people think that this is quite an accurate representation to show if an individual is of a healthy weight, while other people think that it is not accurate because it is a historical data and indicator of body fat stored in the body. We will be judging the difference between the benefits and the problems with using body mass index to measure the weight and body mass of you.

For those of you who does not know what BMI is (body mass index), it is the main representation and measure of the amount of body fat that an individual may have and this uses the individual height against their weight which falls to the following categories:

· Severely underweight

· Very underweight

· Underweight

· Healthy weight

· Overweight

· Obese

· Very obese

· Severely obese


Benefits of using body mass index to measure weight

It helps you to see where you lie using your height and weight to measure the amount of body fat that you have in your body where they came from accurate statistics and calculations where it is a good starting point to find out your ideal weight and the amount of body fat you should have. The normal BMI for an individual is between 18.5 and 25 and it helps to track the weight and body fat of the population to see if society as a whole are being heavy.

People find it easier to check their BMI to see whether they are in the overweight/obese category and studies have found that measuring someone’s BMI is more accurate and representative than an individual’s waist circumference because it tells you the amount of fat stored and the excess fat that are being stored in the body, which guides you with your weight loss journey and most doctors and experts have stated that measuring someone’s BMI is the best method.

Problems of using body mass index to measure weight

However, most people will say that using BMI to measure the amount of body fat in the body is not the most efficient nor accurate representation where it is such an outdated data. BMI does not consider any medical conditions or if you are an athlete! Studies have found that with athletes, they carry more muscle than fat as muscle is denser, which means that BMI may measure them as obese when they are fit and healthy.


This also applies to people with different ethnicities and nationality because BMI tend to measure Caucasian body types, which gives away discrimination for other ethnicies as it is found that Asians have an average of 4% higher than Caucasian, where South Asians tend to have high levels of abdominal obesity.


Other studies have found that body fat are not being measured when using the body mass index because it would measure more muscle in the body and also how body fat are being distributed across the body because some people may have body fat equally distributed through their body whilst others may have the majority of their body fat around their waist who are shown to be associated with higher risks of different health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

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