Body Mass Index (BMI)


Frustratingly (for me, GP, at least), the Body Mass Index (BMI) appears to be the most commonly used measure of health and fitness. It should be remembered, the BMI is only a unit of measure of body weight in relation to height, which is only one factor to consider when measuring someones health - it does not necessarily identify a healthy individual. However, this is not the reason for my frustration.

My main frustration is the fact that many (but not all) health, fitness and medical "professionals" do not factor body composition into the equation and provide the client with a FALSE reading. Many of the people I work with are athletes and therefore many of them carry a greater muscle mass, but it would be wrong to categorize a muscular frame as overweight or obese when they clearly are not. In these instances, a body fat percentage test would be a far fairer unit of measure to identify their health status. Again, a body fat percentage test should be performed which does not factor height and weight into its calculations. 

In the absence of expensive testing equipment, a 4 site caliper test is a sensible body fat percentage test. Please find the BMI formula and reference chart below:

Weight (kg) / Height2 (metres) = BMI Score

Example: 85kg divide (1.80m x 1.80m) = BMI Score of 26.2 - Overweight (Grade 1 Obesity)


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