Blog Posts, Fitness myths

Myth #9: Your BMI is a Good Indicator of Health

If you’re worried about your BMI, it’s probably because someone (your doctor, your insurance company, a magazine) told you should be.  BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and it’s one of the biggest crocks in the health industry! Stated simply, BMI is a ratio between your weight and your height.  The idea of course is that if you’re short in stature, you shouldn’t weigh much.  And vice versa.  Doctors and insurance companies use this well… I don’t have any idea why, but my best guess is that they don’t have anything better. 

So true story.  My trainer (now 61, but 58 when this picture was taken.  It’s not been photoshopped– I know, because I took it.) is 5’11” and 200-208lbs.  He’s 7% body fat.  Annnnnd according to BMI, he’s obese.  

I haven’t checked my body fat in a while, but last time I did I was 22% and 155lbs. But according to BMI, I’m “overweight”.  And according to this same chart, I’d be healthy at 105lbs.  Let me be clear.  The only way I’ll ever be able to weigh that little is if I either go on a starvation diet or am lying in a hospital bed for months.  And I’d be anything but healthy.  I have a lot of muscle! 

If you’re worried about the amount of fat you have, the only real way to know is via some sort of body composition testing.  
Think better machines equal a better workout? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post… 

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