I had to write a whole paper on my thoughts of BMI. As we all know in the health conscious would, BMI is such a controversial issue, I mean who wants to be classified in an overweight/obese/morbid obese or even the underweight category. Sadly-the MAJORITY of the population does not fall under the health conscious category.
If you don’t know your BMI-I would suggest going here and following the oh so difficult directions.
But let’s continue. I am going to step on a lot of toes here and honestly, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I think the BMI test is good and a good baseline for the majority of the population.
I asked the question on several occasions via twitter and my facebook. In my own primary research, I had 34 people answer. I had 32 say that they thought it was a terrible measure.
So that leaves me with two people that had a similar opinion as mine.
First, the biggest complaint people have about BMI is that it doesn’t take into account the muscle mass versus fat. While this is very true, there isn’t a lot of society this covers and I will vouch that that they will always be in the minority. Sure it covers athletes and just generally muscular and big boned people but having a BMI of 20.2 is not any better than having a BMI of 22.2. It’s just a range. Similar to having a weight of 121 or 120.8…it does not matter.
Let me back myself up here. In our society, there are NOT very many people who fall under the category of being “overweight” on the BMI scale due to muscle. If they do-they are very muscular to begin with and are already health conscious so are not going to see a 25 on the BMI scale and say to themselves-weird-I’ve really got to lose this extra fat that I didn’t know I had.
Furthermore, we are NEVER EVER EVER going to find a universal method to calculate what is the right amount of body fat for the right body. Every single person stores fat differently. I could weigh 120 pounds and have an ass bigger than someone who weighs 150 pounds. Life happens, our genes are different.
BMI is just a starting point for many people (keep in mind two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese). People with a BMI (muscle or fat composition) between 18.9-24.5 have been shown to be less susceptible to health risks. Further tests also have to be done to determine where you store your fat and all that jazz.
In summary, BMI testing is a good baseline. It does not determine how healthy you are. It is a good baseline for the MAJORITY of the American population who are overweight or obese.
Question for you: Let’s chat about BMI. Thoughts/comments?