Body Mass Index: It's not telling you the full story
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
I regularly get asked about BMI, and if I think it’s an accurate measure of health and body composition. The last time I calculated my BMI I was 31. This puts me in the category of obese. The last time I had a body fat assessment, I came out at around 8%. Without taking this into consideration, my health status, and activity level, this puts me in the same category of a male who is 106kg and could be 30% body fat.
As we know, every person’s body, lifestyle, eating habits, and health status is so different. Therefore we need a better measure to be able to classify someone as “unhealthy" or at risk of illness. Some doctors are moving slightly closer to body composition assessments (using body fat) and also using waist circumference measurements as predictors of health. But, in my opinion it’s still very far off the mark.
It’s not hard for someone to know and see that they’re overweight, but the extent of the damage they’re causing to themselves is still never assessed. People are often horrified when they have their body fat measured by us, and it’s as high as 25%. This means, 25% of their body weight is body fat!!
There are many chronic diseases that are linked to having higher body fat levels (diabetes and heart disease to name two). Mortality risk is also linked to having higher body fat levels.
So the next time, you consider going to see your doctor for weight loss advice, combine it with a trip to a skilled body composition specialist and have your body fat measured as well. Don’t focus on scale weight alone.
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