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. Other methods of measuring body fat also have their pros and cons.
Is BMI accurate if you are muscular?
A glob of muscle weighs about 18 percent more than the same size glob of fat. So, according to the BMI, the sprinter is more overweight than the sedentary person. But as I said earlier, a glob of muscle weighs about 18 percent more than the same size glob of fat, so this is clearly not an accurate statement.
Is BMI different for athletes?
Body mass index (BMI) is commonly used to classify an individual’s body weight. However, in the case of athletes, who may have a high body weight due to higher lean body mass, BMI may lead to misclassification of the athlete as overweight or obese.
What is a good BMI for an athlete?
The American Exercise Council on Exercise recommends a BMI at or above 18.5 and body fat of 14 percent for women and six percent for men. The best athletes in sprint events tend to have a larger mean mass and height than long-distance runners.
How could an athlete have a high BMI?
“Besides muscle, bone density is a big wild card,” Nelson said. 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.
Is it OK to be overweight with muscle?
BMI isn’t perfect
It often identifies fit, muscular people as being overweight or obese. That’s because muscle is more dense than fat, and so weighs more. But muscle tissue burns blood sugar, a good thing, while fat tissue converts blood sugar into fat and stores it, a not-so-good thing.
Why do I weigh more than I look?
One easily forgotten reason is that your weight only indicates your body mass index (BMI), not your body composition, which is the amount of muscle versus fat you have on your body. Your body composition makes a huge difference in what you look like even though it can’t be measured by the scale.
What are the limitations of BMI for athletes?
The score is valid for both men and women but it does have some limits. The limits are: It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
Can a fat person be athletic?
But that extra weight comes with risks, even in athletes. “There are still health concerns when you’re obese, even if you are healthy and able to be very, very active,” says Dr. Louis J. … In fact, putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat, can pack on extra pounds.
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 body fat percentage are athletes?
The body fat percentage of an active athlete is often lower than the average person. Typically, male athletes will have between 6-13% body fat, and female athletes will have 14-20% body fat.
Why does BMI not work for athletes?
The big reason why BMI has become the most common measurement of body fat is because it does work for the majority of people—because the majority of people are not athletes. … But it doesn’t work for many athletes or fitness-minded people, due to their above average level of muscle mass.
What is ideal BMI range?
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. If your BMI is: below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range.
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.
Is BMI better than body fat?
While BMI is a rough estimate of body fat, body fat percentage is a more accurate number. BMI, but not overfat. Likewise, a person of normal weight on the BMI scales may still be overfat and at risk of weight-related diseases.