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 was BMI originally created for?
The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources.
Why BMI is inaccurate and misleading?
BMI (body mass index), which is based on the height and weight of a person, is an inaccurate measure of body fat content and does not take into account muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences, say researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Is the BMI outdated?
Though it has been used for decades as the go-to measurement for your health based on your size, it has been widely criticized for its oversimplification of what being healthy really means. In fact, many claim BMI is outdated, inaccurate, and shouldn’t be used in medical and fitness settings.
Why do doctors still use BMI?
Body Mass Index Is a Good Gauge of Body Fat
The most basic definition of overweight and obesity is having too much body fat-so much so that it “presents a risk to health.” (1) A reliable way to determine whether a person has too much body fat is to calculate the ratio of their weight to their height squared.
What should my BMI be for my age?
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.
Should I trust BMI?
Research shows that having a healthy BMI can reduce your risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. But not all people with a BMI in this range have a lower risk. Other factors such as smoking, high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure will increase your risk.
What are the problems with using BMI?
The main flaw: It’s an indirect measure of body fat that doesn’t take into account important details about age, sex, bone structure, and fat distribution, one study in the International Journal of Obesity explained. Again, it’s just two numbers: weight divided by height squared.
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.
Why is my BMI so high but not fat?
Muscle mass can make you heavier and increase your BMI.
Because muscles are more dense and heavier than fat, bodybuilders and other professional athletes like football players are often considered obese or overweight based on their BMI alone. If you have high muscle composition, you’re probably not overweight or obese.
Is BMI 30 really obese?
Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)
If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range. If your BMI is 18.5 to <25, it falls within the normal. If your BMI is 25.0 to <30, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Why is my BMI so high?
Muscles are denser and heavier than body fat, so if you have high muscle mass, your BMI might indicate that you’re overweight or obese. BMI treats a person’s weight as one entity, instead of accounting for muscles, bone density and fat, which all make up a person’s weight.
What is a healthy waist size?
For your best health, your waist should be less than 40 inches around for men, and less than 35 inches for women. If it’s larger than that, you may want to talk with your doctor about what your next steps are, including losing weight. You can’t spot-reduce your waist, or any other part of your body.
What is a fat skinny person?
“Skinny fat” is metabolically obese normal weight, meaning that someone has a seemingly healthy look on the outside but they have risks for a number of health problems that are related to obesity. This is mainly due to a poor diet and lack of exercise. This body type can be seen in men and women.
Does BMI actually matter?
Body mass index is the standard metric for determining who is normal-weight, overweight and obese, but BMI is not an accurate measure of fat, and doesn’t explain the causes of poor health, scientists argue in an editorial today (Aug. 22) in the journal Science.
Is a BMI of 26 OK?
Someone with a BMI of 26 to 27 is about 20 percent overweight, which is generally believed to carry moderate health risks. A BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems. A healthy weight is considered to be a BMI of 24 or less.