Is Your BMI Really a Good Measure of Your Health?

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight that you can use to determine if you’re underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. With obesity becoming one of the biggest health problems in the Western world, this number has been used more frequently over the past decade as an indicator of a person’s health status. Here are some facts about your BMI and its value as an indicator of your health that you might not have heard before.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is Not Always Accurate

When we are talking about the body mass index (BMI), the numbers in the equation itself are not very complicated. It’s just your weight, divided by your height squared, multiplied by 703. But where things get complicated is when you start adding up the false positives and false negatives that occur.


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First off, it’s important to note that this calculation is only correct if your weight and height are accurate. And while those measurements can be achieved with one simple step, they may not be exactly accurate if they come from an online scale or from someone else who weighs you but doesn’t really know what their job is supposed to entail.


Why BMI May Not be Ideal

BMI or Body Mass Index is often used as an indicator for the risk of obesity and other health related issues. This index doesn’t take into account how much fat you have, nor does it take into account your bone density. BMI also fails to distinguish between muscles and fat which can result in some people with high BMIs being falsely labeled as obese. Instead, think about your waist circumference as well if you’re trying to calculate your risks.

What Are Better Measures

There are many things that can affect your BMI without you even knowing it. There is also no standard for measuring health and wellness, so there is no way to measure whether or not you are healthy.

Here are some better measurements of your health:
– Blood Pressure (If the pressure reading is higher than 140/90 then this indicates high blood pressure and you should take steps to get it checked.)


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– Weight (Checking your weight on a weekly basis will let you know if you’re losing or gaining too much. You can also keep track of changes in your skin quality because that can also indicate weight loss.) – Blood Sugar (A blood sugar measurement above 200 mg/dL, suggests diabetes or pre-diabetes) – Bone Density (Your bones can tell you about your diet and exercise routine by looking at their density levels) – Liver Function (Liver function tests can give you an idea of how well your liver is working. If liver function starts to decline rapidly, then this could be a sign of liver disease).

What’s A Realistic Measure For You?

A person’s weight and body composition are only two pieces to the puzzle when it comes to health. What if you work out regularly, but can’t lose weight because you carry fat around your hips and thighs? Or what if you’re naturally thin but still have the same risk factors for disease as someone who weighs 30 or 40 pounds more than you do? There’s more to our health than one number on the scale or one simple check-in with a doctor.

The best measure for an individual person is looking at their actual weight along with other aspects such as where their weight sits in relation to height, fat mass vs. muscle mass, genetics, lifestyle habits like diet and exercise, medical history, and family history.

How Do I Actually Determine My Personalized Fitness Index?

Your personalized fitness index is calculated by taking your body weight and dividing it by your height squared. Calculating your BMI doesn’t account for age, sex, muscle mass, or body fat percentage. This means that one person’s healthy weight could be another person’s overweight.

Instead of worrying about pounds and measurements, try assessing how you feel at the gym or on the sports field. Take an honest look at yourself and work on improving your fitness index.