BMI stands for Body Mass Index. BMI is a widely used measure to find out whether you’re a healthy weight for your height (ha!). So you can probably tell already, I’m not a fan of using BMI as an assessment of overall health. If you are curious and want to see what your BMI is, here is a handy calculator for you to use! Click for Calculator
Why do I think BMI is BS? Well, if you look at the image, these two males both have the same BMI. The guy on the left is a bodybuilder and his percentage of bodyfat is 13%. His body composition is mainly muscle mass with very little fat. The guy on the right is just an average bloke, who doesn’t do much exercise or have a lot of muscle but has 26.3% bodyfat. Yet, they both have the same BMI and both are in the “obese” category!
The problem with BMI is that it doesn’t take in to account factors other than height, weight and gender such as: body fat percentage, muscle mass, lean mass, bone density and structure. This can especially become a problem with dealing with athletes, bodybuilders, men (an athletic male), and the elderly.
What is the most accurate measurement of body composition then? In my opinion, if it’s really important for you to know your exact percentage of body fat and muscle mass, then the answer is a DEXA Scan. That stands for Dual Energy Xray Absorptiometry! Basically, it’s like a whole body xray that measures your different tissues, bone, fat and muscle density. Having a DEXA scan can give you a real analysis of what your body composition is and leaves out the guesswork!
If you’d like to know more about DEXA scans, or would like me to organise one for you, you can find more information here: