In today’s day and age, there’s a huge focus on health and wellbeing. People are supposed to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle and make sure that they are exercising and eating the right foods. But how do you track this? For many years, scientists and health experts alike have used BMI to calculate whether someone is underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese. However, as science advances and people become more clued up on what BMI really means, it seems as though these measurements are going out of the window… This is why your BMI will never tell you how healthy you really are.
What is BMI?
BMI stands for your Body Mass Index. It’s a system that is used to measure your height and your weight, and to place your body into a category. When you divide your body weight by your height in meters squared, you will be provided with a number that will then allow you to work out where you fall in that category. Are you unhealthy? Are you just right? Are you obese? Over the years, BMI has been used by medical professions to get a general idea of how healthy a patient is. Yet, it seems as though this is now not all it’s cracked up to be.
What is BMI used for?
Today, BMI is making its way out of doctors surgeries. Nevertheless, there was a time where BMI was one of the most important factors when considering someone’s health. In fact, the Body Mass Index scale was first developed by Adolphe Quetelet in the 1800s. The Belgian mathematician wanted to find a universal way to compare the population, and the BMI scale seemed to be the perfect way to do this. That’s because this scale allowed professionals to find averages and screen weight management for those who are concerned.
Why should we never use it?
Although BMI was once of huge importance, more and more people are now disregarding their BMI result and are using alternative methods instead. That’s because the BMI score does not take into account an extraneous factors such as bone density and muscle mass. Every body is different, and some people have denser bones than others. This will obviously make them heavier, providing an inaccurate reading. The same can be said for short people who are muscular. While they may not be fat, they are heavier than the average person. This is also the case when you think of it the other way around. Someone may have a huge fat build-up, but also be tall. Their reading would most likely be in the “healthy” category, even if they do not lead a healthy lifestyle in the slightest.
Thankfully, medical professions have now started to move away from BMI. They are instead using other measurements to more accurately determine whether a person is overweight or underweight, or just right. Most notably, this takes into account body composition and body fat and has been proven to be a more accurate representation of the person in question.