Interesting stuff on BMI

Adam Glass has posted an interesting piece in defence of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of health.

BMI gets a bit of a kicking in the health/fitness community because it is feasible to be overweight according to BMI through weight that is mostly muscle i.e. you could be in the healthy range for your body fat percentage but obese according to BMI. Therefore it is a useless measure, or so the argument goes.

Adam makes a good point in that, no matter what your body composition, at some point additional weight is going to cause health issues.

“I have not met a single person who is over an index score of 30 who is not heavier than they need to be. Every single person who is steroid free I have met who scored over an index of 30 could benefit from losing weight. Nearly all of the ones who roided are over weight. News flash, 260 lbs at 5’9″ is not healthy. It is still fucked if it’s 3% BF or if it’s 45% BF.”

This makes perfect sense doesn’t it? It’s really easy to hide behind the health measures that justify what you do, while ignoring those that suggest there may be a problem.

For health in the long term it makes more sense to look at the bigger picture. Three simple measures are:

  • BMI
  • Body fat
  • Resting heart rate

for a more complete view, I’d also add:

  • Basic movement ability – your ability to walk, run, get up/down off of the floor and pick stuff up
  • How often you get a cold

No matter what form of exercise you choose to pursue, I think if you have these five in check you are doing ok. If not, there may be something you should address.

Here’s the full article –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s