BMI Can Be Misleading – But How Often Is It?

by Erin

In the past few years, BMI (Body Mass Index) has come under a lot of fire for being an inaccurate measure of health. Because BMI only takes height and weight into account, an individual with a low body fat percentage but high muscle mass could be categorized as overweight or obese according to BMI. Similarly, an individual could fall in the normal or underweight BMI category, but still have a high body fat percentage.

According to the Centers for Disease control, these “healthy obese” and “skinny fat” individuals make up about 18% of the U.S. Population.  These miscategorized individuals are a major cause for concern, especially considering that medical professionals frequently use BMI to inform medical advice and decisions. Although body fat percentage is more expensive and less convenient to measure than BMI, these graphics clearly illustrate the population of individuals that the BMI scale is missing. Moreover, the article presents two new groups that researchers need to learn more about – the 11% of the U.S. population that is “healthy obese”, and the 31% that is “skinny fat”.

Read more about this fascinating study here.

 


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