Saturday, March 10, 2007

BMI - Finally, The Truth Comes Out!!!

This has been my nemesis for years. I would get into what I thought was good shape and check it against the BMI (Body Mass Index) charts and find that I was bordering on obesity. What a bunch of crapola I would always say. I’m a 5’11” athletic built guy. Yeah, I let myself go for a few years, but I was never obese. At my heaviest I hit 218 when I wasn’t looking (now happily to say I’m 196). But even at 196, the body mass index charts say I should weigh 165-lbs. [Click here to calculate your BMI and you tell me if you think it's accurate or not]

Can any of you that know me picture me at 165? There’s no freaking way! I’d look like a broomstick with glasses!!! I’ve always thought the BMI was way off base; that it didn’t take into account if the person was a mesomorph (athletic body), ectomorph (typical marathon runner) or endomorph (typical couch potato). Nor did it take into account their age, muscle mass or even %-body fat. Merely your hight and weight. Turns out a recent medical study agrees with me.

In the article: BMI Not Accurate Indicator of Body Fat; the researcher points out the fallacies of the classic BMI. For you physicians and trainers out there, read this article and take it to heart. .....You know it’s true too don’t you?

Finally, someone in the medical community uses their common sense for a change rather than simply perpetuate a classic myth only because "that's the way its been". So stop going crazy trying to diet and exercise down to the size of a pencil. It’s not necessary. Just eat healthfully, exercise regularly and have your yearly checkups, blood work, (prostate exam for guys and breast exam for the ladies, and enjoy your life. After all, isn’t that why you exercise and eat right?

Ahhhh, it feels so nice to be proven right!

Enjoy. Healthfully yours


Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.
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1 comment:

Savy said...

The BMI charts have driven me crazy for a long time. They're not intended for use with people who have decent muscle mass (what they classify as athletes), or a few other things. I only find value in a BMI chart for those who are way beyond it and need something to aim for to bring their body weight back down.

However, other than that I think it's one of the worst things out there for determining what is healthy and not. I think that once you are eating healthy, and exercising - really just ignore the BMI. As a trainer, I ignore it completely, and prefer to use body fat calculations (electrical, calipers can be off by as much as 50%) - IF that is the focus. I would prefer that people focus on a healthy lifestyle first and foremost.