BMI is determined by dividing weight by height-squared. It’s measured generally using the metric system. As you may readily have concluded, this is a flawed measurement for determining whether you’re overweight, because it doesn’t address either the amount of muscle, or the amount of fat tissue that a person might have that comprises their weight.
The BMI method also doesn’t address how a person’s body fat is distributed. In other words, visceral fat versus subcutaneous fat. The danger of visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, and affect how your body breaks down sugars and fats.
A study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that a high BMI was actually associated with a lower risk of death. This is known the “obesity paradox.” This is further proof of how flawed the BMI method actually is. So what is a better index to use for determining whether a person is “In-Shape?” Two others are:
- Height-to-weight ratios
- Waist-to-hip ratios
I’ll discuss this in a more detail in my next articles.
Until then, this is Darren FX Clair, MD., reminding you that you can have better health at every age.