You may have heard or seen something about BMI or Body Mass Index. This number correlates to the amount of fat in your body – and yet, it does not directly measure body fat. What? Well – it’s an index, a pointer, a guideline. It describes the situation better than just your “weight”. There are a lot of factors that go into BMI – and a number of ways to calculate it. There are also huge variations in the results depending on which method you use – weight to height, waist-to-hip-ratio, bioelectric resistance testing, caliper, or water-tank. It really makes no sense to compare these actual numbers with each other; and rather than arguing which is more accurate, it IS valuable to compare the information they provide.
Some sources, for example, might calculate you as “obese, while the other says “overweight”. The question is, which one feels right to you? Which will motivate you better?
BMI is not without controversy, SLATE Magazine reports, “For years, critics of the body mass index have griped that it fails to distinguish between lean and fatty mass. (Muscular people are often misclassifed as overweight or obese.) The measure is mum, too, about the distribution of body fat, which makes a big difference when it comes to health risks. And the BMI cutoffs for “underweight,” “normal,” “overweight,” and “obese” have an undeserved air of mathematical authority.”
Let’s talk about a vitality program at your next appointment. If you are having back pain, this could be a breakthrough conversation and the beginning of a new, stronger chapter for your body.