How Much Should You Rely on BMI?

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BMI (Body Mass Index) is a term you frequently hear in the medical community in regards to measuring and evaluating weight-related health. You may have had your BMI taken recently by a healthcare professional, or you could have measured it at home on your own. It’s a simple and easy way to categorize weight and health.

But is it the best way? The only way?

If you’re on the journey towards improved weight and health, and you’ve wondered about BMI or other ways of measuring your body so you can outline your goals, keep reading!

What You Should Know about BMI

  • How it is measured – BMI is calculated by dividing your height by your weight. You can measure this by using your height in feet divided by your weight in pounds, or your height in meters divided by your weight in kilograms. Typically, if your BMI is greater than 30, you are categorized as “obsese.” If it’s lower than 25, you’re categorized as “average weight.” Anything between is generally considered to be “overweight.”
  • Advantages – Measuring your BMI is one way to get a general idea of what your ideal body weight should look like. For someone who is beginning their weight-management journey and could benefit from helpful tools and resources, this might be a good starting point. It’s easy to use because all it requires is a scale, tape measure and calculator. BMI ranges are also very easy to read, and determining where you fall relative to the general population is simple.
  • Disadvantages  There may be some pitfalls to relying solely on BMI to determine what’s healthy for you, however. Since the ratio for measuring it is so simple, this method does not account for differences in body frames or body composition. As a result, BMI might not indicate who is at risk for health conditions such as heart disease. It also doesn’t say much about a person’s lifestyle or whether or not change is needed.
  • Alternatives to BMI – Measuring your BMI is not the only way to determine where your health stands in terms of weight. Alternatives include:
    • Body Fat Percentage (BF%)
    • Waist – to – height Ratio (WHtR)
    • Waist – to – hip Ratio (WHR)
    • Waist Circumference (WC)

Although BMI is a great and simple tool for measuring problems with weight, it most certainly has its drawbacks. The medical community has come a long way in helping people take control of their health, but it’s worth it to consider other methods for evaluating our bodies and taking action.

Want to Know More about BMI?


To calculate your own BMI and other measurements, you can visit the YWM Campaign site here.

If you’re looking for more information on BMI and other ways to assess and manage your health, read the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by clicking here!


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