Frequent question: Is BMI evidence based?

Although not a direct measure of adiposity (i.e., amount of fat or adipose tissue), BMI percentile provides an empirically-validated measure of health risk for children and adolescents (e.g., Mei et al., 2002; Must & Anderson, 2003).

Why BMI is inaccurate and misleading?

Body Mass Index’ biggest flaw is that it does not take into account the person’s body fat versus muscle (lean tissue) content. Muscle weighs more than fat (it is denser, a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat). … A BMI calculation would class both of them as overweight.

Is BMI a reliable source?

Is it a good indicator of health? Despite concerns that BMI doesn’t accurately identify whether a person is healthy, most studies show that a person’s risk of chronic disease and premature death does increase with a BMI lower than 18.5 (“underweight”) or above 30.0 (“obese”) ( 4 , 5 ).

Is BMI a valid measurement?

BMI is a reasonable indicator of body fat for both adults and children. Because BMI does not measure body fat directly, it should not be used as a diagnostic tool. Instead, BMI should be used as a measure to track weight status in populations and as a screening tool to identify potential weight problems in individuals.

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Who was BMI based on?

BMI is derived from a simple math formula. It was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. It aims to estimate whether a person has a healthy weight by dividing their weight in kilograms (kg) by their height in meters squared.

What are the disadvantages of BMI?

Since muscle weighs more than fat, BMI isn’t accurate in patients with extreme amounts of muscle. And this can cause unnecessary concern or a faulty sense of security for many adults. For example, a fit person with dense muscle could be categorized as overweight based on BMI.

What are the problems with using BMI?

According to the National Institutes of Health, “The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.” That’s why doctors are inclined to use this measure of overweight and obesity with patients.

What is the best BMI for a woman?

A BMI of 18.5–24.9 is considered normal or healthy for most women. Even though healthcare professionals can use BMI as a screening tool, they shouldn’t use it as a method to evaluate a person’s body fat levels or health status ( 32 ).

What should your BMI be?

For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. For children and young people aged 2 to 18, the BMI calculation takes into account age and gender as well as height and weight.

What is importance of BMI?

Your BMI is a measurement that is a ratio of your weight and height. It’s a good way to gauge whether your weight is in healthy proportion to your height. In fact, knowing your BMI can help you – and your GP – determine any health risks you may face if it’s outside of the healthy range.

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What should I use instead of BMI?

Better than BMI: 4 ways to track your health besides the scale

  • Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) The cousin of the BMI, waist-to-height ratio compares — you guessed it — waist circumference to height, rather than overall weight to height squared. …
  • Measurements. …
  • Resting heart rate (RHR) …
  • Skinfold Calipers.

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Does age affect BMI?

For adults ages 20 years and older, BMI incorporates weight and height, but it does not take age or sex into account. A woman tends to have more body fat than a man with the same BMI. Likewise, an older person tends to have more body fat than a younger person with an equal BMI.

How accurate is BMI if you are muscular?

There are a myriad of reasons why BMI isn’t as accurate a measure of health as many of us were brought up to believe, but one of the main ones is that BMI can’t distinguish between fat and muscle. A pound of fat takes up a much larger volume on the body than a pound of muscle, even though they of course weigh the same.

What is the most healthy range for your BMI?

If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range. If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.

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