Wednesday, April 4, 2012
My peers and friends will tell you I have always used the works fit, thick or fat when describing a body type. They have always laughed at me, but perhaps I am more right on then using the BMI chart alone. Did you know that the BMI chart has been around for 200 years? Surprised me too. Clients ask me if I believe in it as an assessment tool and I have always said yes. Is it the only tool I use, no! In the hospital setting it is evident that when a person has a BMI over 40 that the prognosis is worse especially if they are critically ill. In my business setting I utilize the BMI, as well weight status compared to ideal body weight and visual assessment. The rule of thin, thick or fat.
Now research from California is stating that especially for women the BMI is not identifying obesity, The thought that if your BMI is below 30 is debunked. It always puzzled me that women and men were on the same chart. This did not make sense to me due to the fact that men have a heavier bone mass. So where is the weight difference coming from? Muscle or fat. A study published Monday in the journal PloS One found that using BMI as an indicator of obesity actually misclassifies 39 percent of Americans as “overweight” rather than “obese.” And because BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle, some people with normal BMIs may have dangerously high amounts of fat in their bodies.
Years ago at a talk regarding measuring body fat I learned then that being thin was not always a sign of fitness. Besides being larger then my thin counterpart I was informed that I was probably leaner or had less fat mass due to the fact that I trained and she did not. Fitness is not only measured by the scale
So what do I take away from this new information? The saying that muscle weighs more than fat sticks, you can weigh more and be fit is possible. No one can tell me my husband the "Wall" is not fit though he may weigh more than a BMI chart indicates he should, have you seen my husband?
So besides just walking or running get out your weights, do a push up or hit the heavy bag and build your muscle, don't count on a chart alone!