Why Is Understanding BMI Helpful?

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A FitPerez reader named Seb has a technical question and who better to answer it then fitness expert Courtney Barber? Seeking clarification about BMI measurements, he asks:

Hi Courtney,

I was wondering what does BMI stand for and why is it so helpful?

According to Courtney:

Hi Seb,

What a great question! BMI stands for Body Mass Index, a scale that estimates an individuals body fat based on their height and weight. The health industry uses this measure to determine overall health risks, by placing people into one of these categories:

BMI Result
Below 20 Underweight
20-25 Healthy
25-30 Overweight
30 and Over Obese

It is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared (m2).
There are many BMI calculators online, where you can you find out your own BMI. Click here!

Keep in mind that this a general scale and fails to recognise lean muscle mass, so if you’re an athlete or a muscular individual, this is not going to give you an accurate measure of your body fat.

A person’s waist circumference is a better predictor of health risk than BMI.

Thanks for your question!

Courtney is always here to help! Check out her website HERE or facebook HERE and follow her on twitter @CourtneyBFit!

Mar 28, 2012 9:30am PDT

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