Is BMI accurate?

Is BMI really an accurate calculation of body fat? NOPE!

BMI or Body Mass Index is actually kind of bogus in my opinion.

Why is it bogus?

Because it tells you if you are a healthy weight based on your height and weight AND doesn’t take into account body composition at all!

The formula to calculate BMI is BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703

If you are a 5 foot 4 inch female and weight 150 lbs, you are overweight based on the BMI scale. BUT there is a huge difference between a 5’4″ female that is 150 pounds with 15% body fat and one that is 5’4″ and 150lbs with 25% body fat.

I mean shoot! I weigh more now than I did a year and a half ago (10 pounds more to be exact), but I look leaner and more muscular than before. I didn’t look underweight before even though my BMI said I was. I was more toward skinny-fat in my opinion.  I literally lacked muscle (ok I had muscle…just not enough!!!). However, now that I’ve increased my muscle mass, my BMI states that I’m almost overweight. HA! I’m not even close to overweight!

And I’m not the only one for which BMI isn’t an accurate indication of what is a healthy weight. It isn’t for most of us weight lifting fiends! If you calculate the BMI of many athletes, you will find that their BMI categorizes them as overweight. Some of them even fall into the obesity range!

But they aren’t! Most of them probably even have less body fat than the person whose BMI states that their weight  is within the normal weight range.

So if this calculation can overestimate the body fat in muscular people, don’t you think it probably isn’t an accurate reading for other people as well?

What about the skinny fat? Their weight may be within the “normal range” but if they lack muscle…like I did…than their body composition probably isn’t very good!

How can we still be using something that doesn’t seem to accurately predict body fat for anyone!?! I mean even NPR thinks BMI is bogus!

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Posted on January 3, 2012, in Body Image and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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