Okay ladies, it’s story time. True story here. This is a throwback to before I was pregnant. Once upon a time I was told, by a Physician, to lose 10 pounds based on my body mass index.
Hmmm….Let’s see. I was a healthy eater that worked out 5 days per week and my clothes fit the same as always! Okay that intro alone was enough to tell you that was all pre-baby.
It is common knowledge that women receive significant pressure to look a certain way. We know this. Not necessarily one certain way, but there are many templates based on social, societal, and cultural bias.
What is BMI?
I’m so glad you asked! Body Mass Index, or BMI, is currently one of the most widely used tools for diagnosing one as overweight or obese. My issue is that only height and weight are used to calculate it.
In my opinion only using height and weight is quite unfortunate and down right unfair. Other contributing factors such as ethnicity, fat and muscle distribution and waist to hip ratio are not included.
BMI does not have the ability to determine our actual body composition. There is so much more to us. Let’s breakdown these unaccounted for contributing factors shall we?:
BMI = Weight in kg / Height in meters x Height in meters
Some ethnic groups may have higher baseline BMIs due to greater amounts of lean tissue and may be labeled as overweight or obese.
FAT AND MUSCLE DISTRIBUTION (body fat percentage):
Individuals who have larger body frames or contain more muscle will yield a higher BMI and may even be labeled as overweight or obese. On the contrary, those with less lean tissue and higher body fat may score lower, but that does not mean that they are automatically in a healthy weight range.
WAIST TO HIP RATIO (WHR):
The risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes increases with increased fat around the waistline and this is not considered with BMI. While BMI uses your height and weight, WHR compares the waist and hip circumferences to give insight to the degree of fat carried around the waist.
Sum it up
In summary, BMI should not be completely excludedrath! It should be used in conjunction with other factors to assess body composition more accurately. After doing further analysis of my body composition I confidently determined that I was not 10 pounds overweight thank you very much lol.
But seriously, my body fat percentage and waist to hip ratio were normal. My ethnicity typically maintains a higher baseline BMI.
My point here is that I don’t want you to be discouraged if your BMI is measured as underweight, overweight or obese. Maintain healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle and consider other factors when assessing your weight.
So many factors contribute to that number on the scale and like I said we are so much more than that.
What are your thoughts on this? Send me a comment and let me know if you were told to adjust your weight based on BMI.
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