BMI Is Officially Bullsh*t – And This Is Why

STELLAR writer Victoria is calling BS on her recent BMI reading – and she has the science to back it up too.

Woman standing on a scale

Picture the scene: I’d just signed up to the gym in a bid to get fit and had made the (in hindsight) unwise decision to have a ‘wellness evaluation’ with one of the trainers; a quick 15 minute consultation where I’d have a whole host of measurements taken to ascertain the state of my health.

First on the agenda: BMI. “Your BMI is 27.5,” the trainer told me scathingly, a number that fell in the overweight category, exactly halfway between healthy and obese.

I was aghast. ‘I only wear a size 10,’ I thought to myself. A 10! ‘Sure, I’m a little fluffy around the edges, but approaching obese? No.’

Now a new study has confirmed what I always kind of knew: BMI is BS and isn’t always a true marker of the state of your health.

Here’s the proof:

In a study led by UCLA researchers, it was discovered that while a person might appear to be in an unhealthy weight range, according to their BMI, this number wasn’t necessarily indicative of their general health.

The study reported that 30% of those within the healthy BMI range were actually considered unhealthy when examined for markers of their general health, while 15% of people in the very obese category were found to be healthy.

BMI doesn’t account for muscle mass either, meaning that athletes, who presumably follow very healthy lifestyles, are often considered obese according to the scale.

So how should you be measuring your health?

According to the study’s co-author Jeffrey Hunger, instead of obsessing over your BMI, you should instead focus on eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

The take-home? Just like health isn’t a number on a scale, it isn’t a number on a doctor’s chart either.

As for me, I’ll be eating right and hitting the gym on the reg, without paying a single bit of heed to that nasty old BMI reading.

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