Why is BMI not accurate for athletes?

“Because it’s simple,” Ahima said, adding that it’s easy to weigh people and measure their height. For most people, BMI provides a “reasonable measure” of body fat, but is not accurate for athletes (who weigh more because of muscle) or older people who have lost height, he said.

What is wrong with BMI for athletes?

An example of the biggest flaw in using BMI

Muscle weighs more than fat (it is denser, a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat). Therefore, BMI will inevitably class muscly, athletic people as fatter than they really are.

Why is BMI not always accurate?

BMI is not an accurate predictor of health because it does not account for body fat percentage or body fat distribution. In addition, BMI cannot accurately predict the health of different demographics and races because it was created with data from only white Europeans.

Do athletes have higher BMI?

And highly trained athletes are at a greater disadvantage: their excess muscle typically puts them at a higher BMI, so they may actually be considered obese.

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Do athletes have lower BMI?

Endurance athletes, such as runners, benefit from low body fat and lower BMI.

What is a realistic BMI for someone athletic?

To illustrate this, consider athletes and muscular sport stars, All Blacks for instance, or basketball players. The “normal” range for BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. Anything below 18.5 is potentially “underweight”, overweight is a BMI of 25-30, and obese is over 30.

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.

Do doctors still use BMI?

It is used in population studies, by doctors, personal trainers, and others. However, BMI has some important flaws. For example, it does not measure overall fat or lean tissue (muscle) content. BMI is derived from a simple math formula.

What is more accurate than BMI?

Waist-to-height ratio more accurate than BMI in identifying obesity, new study shows. Summary: Calculating a person’s waist-to-height ratio is the most accurate and efficient way of identifying whether or not they are at risk of obesity in clinical practice, a new study shows.

Does BMI really mean anything?

As a single measure, BMI is clearly not a perfect measure of health. But it’s still a useful starting point for important conditions that become more likely when a person is overweight or obese.

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What is a good BMI for a runner?

And a lower body-mass index seems increasingly important as race distances get longer: A 2014 study found that the optimal BMI for male 800 meter runners was between 20 and 21, while it dropped between 19 and 20 for male 10,000 meter and marathon runners.

Do bodybuilders have high BMI?

The BMI doesn’t account for body composition; that is, the relative proportion of fat and muscle tissue. People often point out that a bodybuilder with lots of muscle and very little fat could easily have a BMI in the “obese” category.

What is the average BMI range for a fit person?

A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal. A BMI of between 25 and 29.9 is overweight. A BMI over 30 indicates obesity.

What is the ideal weight for athletes?

The “ideal” weight for a 5’2″ female athlete would be 131 lbs. But for a 5’9″ female athlete it would be closer to 163 lbs. Conversely, if a 5’9″ female athlete only weighed 135 lbs (a BMI of 20), that could have a negative impact on their performance potential.

What is a good body fat percentage?

With that in mind, think of BMI and body fat percentage as just one way to assess and monitor your weight and overall body composition.

Ideal body fat percentage for men.

Category Percentage
Essential fat 2-5%
Athletes 6-13%
Fitness 14-17%
Acceptable 18-24%

Why do athletes weigh more?

Athletes need to develop their muscles because stronger muscles tend to correlate with improved performance as long as the motor skill development is there. Developing muscle mass may increase an athlete’s scale weight.

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