“One of the most popular ways of telling if you’re a healthy weight is bogus”

“BMI Is A Terrible Measure Of Health”

“5 BMI Myths You Need To Stop Believing”

These are the titles of several articles on BMI and BMI charts published in recent years.

If you take their message at face value, then you’ll come to one conclusion:

BMI is outdated, overrated, and inaccurate, and it’s time we retired it for good.

In case you didn’t know, BMI stands for “body mass index,” and it measures the relationship between your height and weight.

BMI has been used by doctors for decades to help determine whether someone should consider losing or gaining weight, but recently this idea has come under fire.

Detractors say you can’t distill what it means to be healthy into a single number.

Some go further and say being overweight isn’t unhealthy, so why bother measuring BMI or worrying about your weight?

Others point out that BMI charts don’t work well for muscular people.

Who’s right?

The short story is twofold:

  1. BMI charts are good at estimating the body fat percentage of large populations of people, and they do this quite well.
  2. Although imperfect at estimating the body fat percentage of individuals, BMI charts are still decent barometers of whether or not you should lose weight.

The long story?

BMI charts are one of the best ways to get a quick bird’s-eye view of your body composition and overall health, but you should also rely on several other methods to get a more accurate estimate of your body fat percentage.

Let’s start by looking at what BMI is.

Time Stamps:

2:08 – What is BMI? 

3:26 – What are the problems with BMI measurements? 

7:04 – What does BMI measure well? 

9:34 – What is a healthy weight and body composition? 

Mentioned on the show: 

How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

+ Scientific References