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Is BMI a useful predictor of your health status?

Many claim that BMI is inaccurate. So read this article to know about BMI and find out whether it is an accurate predictor or not?

Is BMI a useful predictor of your health status?

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Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Dec 2020 10:50 AM GMT

BMI is Body Mass Index which is used in clinical facilities to know the accurate status of your health. It is being used for years as a quick assessment of the status of your health as per your weight and height but it has gained a lot of criticism for its inaccuracy, and outdatedness.

Continue reading this article to know about BMI and the history related to it as also its fidelity about measuring the health status.

What is Body mass index (BMI)?

It was anciently developed by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgium mathematician in 1832. It was developed with the purpose to help the government to have an idea about the estimation of what amount of population is facing obesity so that health facilities can be allotted. Take a note that it was produced to measure the overall health of a population rather it was used for any individual. But there are several reports that it has been largely used for measuring an individual's health.

How is it measured?

So, here is the chart of the BMI range which is used to measured health:


BMI rangeclassificationrisk of poor health
less than 18.5Underweighthigh
18.5-24.9Normal weightlow
25.0-29.9overweightlow to moderate
30.0-34.9Obese Class 1 (moderate obese)high
35.0-39.9Obese Class 2 (severely obese)very high
Greater than 40Obese Class 3 (extremely obese) extremely high

How accurate it is?

Despite BMI is criticized largely for its inaccuracy, there exist studies that have found out that an individual possibility of chronic diseases and premature death have grown up with BMI less than 18.5 (underweight) or above 30.0 (obese). Other research has found out that people who are in the obese category are around twenty percent increased possibility of losing their lives from all kinds of diseases and also heart disease as compared to those from the normal category.

Researches have also stated that people who belong from the underweight or extremely obese or years and severely obese groups lose their lives on an estimate of respectively 6.7 and 3.7 years as compared with the normal category.

Hence, regardless of its several criticisms, various researches adhered to its capacity to get an estimation of an individual's risk of long-lasting diseases especially the risk of pre-mature death and metabolic disease.

Disadvantages:

  • It only considers size not other factors: The BMI does not consider other factors like genetics, sex, age, lifestyles, medical history, etc which can be related to your health condition. It just says yes or no on whether you belong to the normal weight or not.
  • It assumes every weight is even: See a bodybuilder may have a high muscle mass on the contrary the other person might have a high-fat mass. BMI can probably give a confusing answer regarding someone being obese and overweight, regardless of possessing low-fat mass.


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