Recent researches suggest that Body Mass Index may not be as a trustworthy tool as a lot of people think. For years, Body Mass Index (BMI) has been applied to determine the person’s overall health condition and to calculate whether or not they are overweight or obese. Some companies even use their staff’s BMI to determine health care costs. But a new research has revealed that BMI was used to label around 45 million Americans as unhealthy, even they are not.
Recent researches suggest that Body Mass Index may not be as a trustworthy tool as a lot of people think. For years, Body Mass Index (BMI) has been applied to determine the person’s overall health condition and to calculate whether or not they are overweight or obese. Some companies even use their staff’s BMI to determine health care costs. But a new research has revealed that BMI was used to label around 45 million Americans as unhealthy, even they are not.Scientists in the study found that over 47% overweight people and 29% obese people were considered unhealthy solely on the basis of BMI. But if to compare with other health markers such as tension of blood, and triglyceride level they were in fact metabolically healthy. For example, a lot of famous athletes who demonstrated outstanding results have BMI over 30 or more, that according to current system of assessing health condition means being obese or even fat. So the real question is should we still go by BMI and if not, what’s the best way to determine our health? In a nutshell, BMI formula, according to which the person’s weight is divided by the height and squared, was created by a mathematician in the middle of the 19th century with the purpose to regulate products distribution for population. According to it, people are classified as underweight (under 18.5 scores), with normal weight (18.5-24.9 scores), overweight (25-29.9 scores), and obese (over 30 scores). In the 20th century there was a rise of interest to the BMI approach due to dramatically fattening population of the Western Europe’s countries. And finally the recent above-mentioned study gives evidence of these assumptions. Many healthcare experts have started saying that rather often BMI does not reflect the person’s real health condition and this approach to measure health is already outdated and far from being perfect. There is a need to broaden the health measuring parameters and range of various modalities to get more precise results. Based on BMI approach, al lot of people was labeled healthy erroneously and vice versa. Let’s have a bit closer look why it’s so. The important thing to understand about BMI is the difference between weight of fat and weight of muscles mass, as the latter is 4 times denser than fat tissues and, consequently, much heavier and looks “more compact and fit, and a body with prevalence of fat tissues looks ‘fluffy and quaggy’. Thus, the BMI does not realistically estimate the percentage of fat. For example, you are starting a new workout regimen in a gym, changing the way you eat for healthier diet and incorporating lifting or push-up exercises into your regimen, but notice at the say time that the scales’ indicator does not change that much – that may be ok, as your body composition changes. As a result, your body weight can stay absolutely the same and your metabolic health can completely change as you increase muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage. So what might be the alternatives to BMI approach? Here are a few most common:
- Waist circumference measurement – is rather a trustworthy method, as it allows estimating actual amount of your abdominal fat. It can help to assess underlying risk for heart problems and diabetes.
- Waist-to-Hip Ratio – it’s good for revealing possible risks of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by clicking here.
- 3D Body Scanning – it’s a novelty in the healthcare industry. With the help of a handy device you can measure circumference of different parts of the body, scan it, evaluate muscle mass. There is even a special application for gadgets, which is connected to a body scanning device and you can track the results on your mobile. Isn’t that hilarious? Check the links https://naked.fit and http://www.styku.com for more details.
- Skin Calipers – with a help of a skin caliper device a physician is assessing skin folds in different parts of the body (usually chest, arms, abdominal area and thighs). Then the measurements are calculated with the special formula to estimate fat percentage.
Now, having read through all the tips and modern methods, you are well-equipped with understanding how to estimate your real health condition.