Well lets find out.......
BMI stands for body mass index, and it uses several parameters to determine each persons number. There are hundreds of online calculators that will ask you to input your age, sex, height and weight.
The calculator will then give you a number, and a chart to tell you whether that number means you are under, over or a healthy weight.
Typically, BMI is classified into four groups:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Sounds simple enough - right?!
The BMI formulation is around 200 years old, we have come a long way since then!
Well this can be a useful tool to gain an idea of your body composition, however your BMI does not account for many things, such as:
- Your body fat percentage
- Your muscle mass
- Your bone density
- It ignores waist circumference (which is a much better measurement of whether you are obese)-
So, as an example - a typical rugby player with strong bones and a large amount of muscle mass, but a low amount of body fat may have a high BMI, likewise - a petite individual with little muscle and a higher body fat percentage may have a low BMI. Therefore it is safe to say that it is not an indication of a persons health.
A better option is waist measurement (because fat around the middle is highly associated with poor health) and your waist to height ratio.
Recommended waist sizes are as follows:
No more than 39 or 40 inches for men
No more than 34 or 35 inches for women.
For waist to height ratio, the aim is to have a waist circumference that is less than half of your height.
Much like my previous blog post on the scales, do not let BMI determine your health, these are useful tools but do not paint the entire picture. As always, I promote balanced and individual approach with each client so that we CAN paint the whole picture!