If you’re overweight, what’s the best way to assess potential health risks? The experts at Body Fat Analyzer Scale Site say that both body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage are effective tools to determine risks. You might already know your numbers, but what do they indicate? What do these two metrics mean for your health?
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is an equation that provides a numerical rating of health based on height and weight. It’s been generally agreed that BMI is a very precise manner to determine health and the effects of the weight on your body. Recent medical studies have utilized BMI as an indicator, and the results are legitimate and realistic.
Most current research from the medical sector utilizes BMI as the primary signal of risk of disease and status of health. These are the ranges for adult BMI values:
- Less Than Recommended: Below 18. 5
- Recommended: 18.5 to 25
- Overweight: 25 to 29
- Obese: 30.0 or higher
The basis that your Body Mass (BMI) figure does indeed inform you of your risk for certain diseases such as diabetes & heart disease has been well established. Higher numbers of BMI are also linked to some cancers, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
While BMI has long been the standard, however, many people claim that the numbers are not useful, because they’re too general. They don’t indicate body composition, and how much of your weight is from fat or from muscle. These are all factors in health overall. Many people, especially athletes, are shown to be overweight due to their height and weight, but they’re actually very physically fit. BMI is a broad, general measurement.
Body Fat Percentage
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) did publish some findings in 2000 that indicated the percentage of fat in your body might prove to provide a more accurate measure than BMI when it comes to weight-related health risks. These new findings and research revealed that dealing with the fat in the body more directly was a better assessment to determine body fat percentage, and that this was possible with the latest technology.
Body fat percentage reveals fat content only and gives a more realistic number. The below range figures are provided for ideal body fat percentage:
- Essential fat: 10 to 12% (women); 2-4% (men)
- Athletes: 14 to 20%; 6-13%
- Fitness: 21 to 24%; 14-17%
- Acceptable: 25 to 31%; 18-25%
- Obese: 32%+; 26%+
Body fat percentage provides a range that people can aim for, which is much better suited than some magic number. It also shows that men should be more slim than women, which makes sense, as women have a differing reproduction function that requires higher fat to support.
Overall, in terms of ease of use and usefulness, BMI is an excellent tool to measure health and risks for certain diseases. However, a single, magic number may not be wholly accurate and isn’t necessarily true for a lot of people, especially athletes.
Many experts agree that if either fat percentage or BMI helps people to be aware of and focused on their health, especially when it comes to their risks of contracting certain diseases, both measurements are considered effective and useful tools, and definitely have a place in weight management.