Scrap the Scale, Banish BMI: This Number Is Far More Important

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broken scale

You’ve probably heard of the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a tool commonly used to determine if a person is at a healthy weight.

There’s a problem with that method – it is a simple height-to-weight ratio, and does not take into consideration one’s body composition. Athletes and bodybuilders with low body fat often are labeled as overweight or even obese on the BMI scale because they carry a lot of muscle.

Despite its flaws, the BMI has been used as a standard measure of individual health for years.

A recent study showed that using BMI to gauge health incorrectly labels an estimated 74,936,678 adults in the US as cardiometabolically unhealthy or cardiometabolically healthy.

Of that number, 54 million Americans have been classified as “unhealthy,” even though they are not.

Now, the results of a new study are in, and more serious flaws with using BMI as a health measure were revealed.

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  • The vital signs are called vital signs for a reason, and the BMI has never been one.
    This article used BMI too many times to impugn it in any significant way.

  • SP_88

    Anyone who is reasonably intelligent will know if they are in good health or not, mostly based on their lifestyle and eating habits. People know if they are heavy because they are muscular from exercising or just fat from eating fast food and crap every day. Nobody needs a BMI to tell them about their weight if they are so fat that they cannot see their own dick. All these things are only useful to people who are collecting data about everyone. If they are looking at height and weight numbers on paper or a computer, then they might need something like a BMI number, but without any other information they could easily mislabel people who work out at the gym as obese or any number of other mistakes. So having something else to go on would be helpful. Or better yet, they could mind their own business and forget the whole thing.

  • straight shooter

    Isn’t it hilarious that the middle word in BMI is “mass,” yet this index of genius can’t even allow for muscle–which is nothing if not mass. One of the most absurdly useless health metrics, best ignored.