Body Mass Index (BMI)

“The last three or four reps is what makes the

muscle grow. This area of pain divides a

champion from someone who is not a champion.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Body Mass Index, or BMI is a weight-to-height ratio, calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in meters and used as an indicator of obesity and underweight. 

BMI is a pretty accurate way to see where you are at with your progress. Remember, a fit athlete who is the same height and weight as an unathletic person with way more body fat will have the same BMI so it’s not fool-proof. For a more precise reading, there are other options:

  • Other measures of body fat, such as skin-fold thicknesses, bioelectrical impedance, underwater weighing and dual energy X-ray absorption, maybe more accurate than BMI. (2017)

If you’re like me, you just read that sentence and said ‘what the crap is bioelectrical impedance or dual energy X-ray absorption?’ Like who do you think I am in my free time, Scuba Steve? These are actually pretty awesome ways to get your BMI with prices ranging from a hand-held device at 27$ to going to a hospital and getting examined with x-rays for anywhere form 60-100$ about. 

Here’s a website all about the Dual X-Ray Absorption option:

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=dexa

Here’s a website about the Bioelectrical Impedance option:

http://www.tanita.com/en/howbiaworks/

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SO what exactly does that definition for BMI mean? Let’s take a closer look:

‘Body weight is used as an indicator of an individual’s health. It is usually compared to tables that list “ideal” or “desirable” weight ranges for specific heights. Some of these tables use values gathered from research studies, while some include the heights and weights of individuals who have bought life insurance (e.g., the Metropolitan Height and Weight Tables). An individual’s weight can be described as a percentage of the ideal or desirable weight listed, and can also be categorized as healthy, underweight, over-weight , or obese . An additional method of comparing an individual to a population group is with the body mass index .

Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of body composition that correlates an individual’s weight and height to lean body mass. The BMI is thus an index of weight adjusted for stature. Body mass index is figured by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared and multiplying by 100. It can also be figured by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying by 705. High values can indicate excessive fat stores, while low values can indicate reduced fat stores. In this way, the BMI is a diagnostic tool for both obesity and protein-energy malnutrition . The BMI has also been associated with mortality, with lower values generally correlating with longer life.

The same BMI value can correlate with a range of body-fat percentage. For example, athletes usually have large skeletal muscles (which weigh more than fat) and therefore a high BMI, but they are not obese. Shorter individuals can also be identified as obese, since their BMIs are usually high. An older individual may have a higher body-fat percentage than a younger individual, but have the same BMI. Adult females can have a BMI of 20, which correlates to a body-fat percentage of 13 to 32 percent, while adult males can have a BMI of 27 and a body-fat percentage of 10 to 31 percent.’ (2017)

AND HERE IS WHY you should go to a PROFESSIONAL and get your BMI measured appropriately, instead of going to some website and typing in your height & weight:

Any questions for me? Have any topics you’d like for me to discuss? Send me an email at USAF.SHEEHAN@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

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Works Cited

Body mass index facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Body mass index"Body Mass Index Facts, Information, Pictures | Encyclopedia.Com Articles About Body Mass Index". Encyclopedia.com. N. p., 2017. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

Today, Medical. “BMI (Body Mass Index): What Is BMI?”. Medicalnewstoday.com. N. p., 2017. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

Marianne SheehanBMI