For individuals and medical professionals alike, the body mass index (BMI) scale is one of the most widely used indicators of health around the world. But what is the BMI test?
Put simply, it is a crude measure of one’s physical fitness which takes your weight and height and gives you a BMI result based on that. Usually, a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered healthy.
Anything over this marks a person as overweight, while anything below this range is classed as being underweight. Although BMI is still used almost universally, it has been increasingly questioned as a reliable indicator of health.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of BMI to determine whether you can still trust it to make decisions about your health and fitness.
The Pros and Cons of BMI
There are many reasons why healthcare professionals continue to use BMI as an indicator of a person’s health when it comes to their weight.
However, a growing number of healthcare professionals now claim that BMI, which was first introduced in 1872, is no longer fit for purpose. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using BMI for health measurements in 2020.
The main pro of using the BMI test is that it is an easy way to gather weight statistics for a general population or group. Given the blunt nature of the BMI test, it can easily be used by experts and policymakers to track how large groups of people are experiencing weight loss and weight gain.
On an individual level, BMI can give you a quick and simple way of checking whether you are of a weight level that would generally be considered healthy. It can also allow you to easily check if you have had an increase or decrease in weight that is unhealthy. When used in combination with other measurements, BMI can be a good way to assess a person’s health risks overall.
That being said, BMI accuracy when it comes to genuinely measuring a person’s health is very questionable. It does not take into account a person’s actual obesity, just their weight.
That means that a person who has 2% body fat and is a professional bodybuilder with a 16-inch waist could be considered morbidly obese according to the BMI test. That’s why it is widely agreed that using a body fat percentage calculator is a more accurate way of determining whether you have too much fat.
Fortunately, you can now buy home scales that give you an exact body fat percentage reading, as this Weight Gurus review explains. It is body fat which causes many of the problems associated with being overweight, such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, a measurement like BMI that does not take into account muscle or anything else is not all that helpful.
Make Informed Decisions About Your Health Today
Learning the pros and cons of BMI is just one important step you can take to make better, more informed choices about your health. As scientists learn more about what makes us healthy, new ways of measuring health are coming to the fore.
To learn more about these, we are here to help you. Check out our Health section today for up-to-date guides on all of the emerging trends in the realm of healthcare, so you can make the right decisions about your body.