Who else is frustrated by the BMI method?

NPR’s Kieth Devlin gives “Top 10 Reasons The BMI Is Bogus” in an article from 8 years ago….and we’re still using it?!?!

Since the 1800’s people have determined body health utilizing the BMI or Body Mass Index. A BMI calculator is used to classify a person as either underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese based off the correlation of a person’s weight to height. Many health professionals and doctors continue to utilize this age-old health marker as a way to determine if a person has increased health risks such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

But overtime, research has begun to show errors and inaccuracies in the BMI calculator due to the lack of information concluded by simply comparing a person’s weight to their height. You remember your mom telling you “muscle weighs more than fat”? That was not a way to help you feel more confident in your body size, your mom was telling the truth.

A person whom has a healthy distribution of lean muscle mass is often considered “overweight” or even “obese” according to BMI calculations and this is because it does not take into account our bodies composition and distribution of lean muscle versus fat mass.

What we should be paying attention to:

  • Muscle mass
  • Where fat is distributed
  • Stress levels
  • Hormone levels
  • The way the body distributes water
  • Metabolic rate; which is the how calories are burned

Metabolic health is highly influenced by how we live. Choosing to eat a healthy diet, participate in regular physical activity, living with less stress and avoiding harmful substances such as tobacco are more important to protect health and prevent disease regardless of weight.

Our behavior highly effects our health. We choose to gain or lose our health. BMI does not protect someone from unstable blood sugar, unhealthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Understanding the “materials” of our body is a better measurement of a person’s health.

Through time we have learned and developed better tools and health markers that show us a more accurate picture of our overall health status.

High blood pressure is an indication of improper heart health and can indicate if you are at risk for heart disease or stroke.  This is an inexpensive way to measure your risk for cardiovascular disease and a good indication that it is time to do some more research or make some lifestyle changes.

C reactive protein in your blood indicates inflammation. Inflammation silently effects your systemic body and wreaks havoc on your organs. Symptoms include; aches, pains, poor digestion, feeling sluggish, gaining weight.

Waist measurement or BVI has been proven to be a more accurate fat body measurement. It has been proven that the circumference of your abdomen can indicate fat levels. Fat levels affect organs and a circumference less than half your height can increase your life expectancy for both male and female.

Glucose testing will give a more accurate measurement of your chances of developing diabetes. It measures the sugar crystals in your blood cells. Sugar crystals in your blood cells can lead to systemic inflammation and failure.

Most importantly listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t. Maybe its time to make some changes to your current lifestyle? Or see a holistic health professional?

How your treat your inner body and mind will be the true marker to your future health.