MedTv the "BMI, or body mass index, measures a person's body fat based on his or her height and weight". I cannot clearly remember the last time that I liked what I saw when I did this calculation. According to the BMI, I am actually OBESE. And yes, that ugly word had to be put in capitol letters and bolded. Now, if you saw me walking on the street, you would never say that I am that word. I would be described as curvy or thick. When I think of obese, I think of 300lbs plus weighing people who have out of control eating habits. Therefore, in my mind I am not that word.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether the BMI works for all races and if it really is an indicator of being overweight. For example, if I were a 5'3'' body builder I would have a lot of lean muscle mass that would make the number on the scale much higher. Probably out of my "healthy" weight range making me overweight/obese, which therefore means I am unhealthy. But if I am a 5'3'' lean machine, I highly doubt that I would be unhealthy with such a low body-builder's fat percentage and healthy/fitness habits. As for race, some studies indicate that black people have a lower percentage of body fat than their white counter parts. Having a lower percentage of body fat is better for the body, in most cases. None of these example are included in the BMI calculations either. It is very cut and dry.
In this article they discuss the above topics in more detail. They also speak about how we should possibly consider just measuring the circumference of a person's natural waist to indicate whether they are overweight or not. Women with a circumference over 40 inches (not pregnant of course) and men with a circumference over 35 inches would then be considered overweight. Personally, I agree with this a bit more... and not just because it takes me out of the obese category.
What do you think?
***Sidebar: If anyone falls into these categories, BMI and/or waist circumference, the most important thing is that you are trying to work towards getting healthy. I will not even begin to get into the argument of whether you can be "fat and fit". I really don't have a stance on that issue right now. But, it is important to make sure that your overall health is not in jeopardy. For me, I know that having a lower BMI, waist circumference, and/or overall weight is important because I want to have children in the next 5 years. Weighing what I weight now could mean complications. Therefore, I am making positive changes day by day. I also want more energy and better eating habits in general. ***