Why you should not trust the BMI Scale

There are many things about the early 19th century that are considered “out of date" today, so many in fact that it seems almost impossible to list them all! Would you trust  a health professional with an early 19th century education? Hell no!

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Yet health professionals from the early 19th century developed a measuring tool that our hospitals and clinics still use to assess your body type. Its called the BMI scale, and even though it screams “out-of-date”, its use remains prevalent today.

If you have ever had a physical, chances are you have been introduced to the BMI scale. The BMI scale uses a formula that compares your weight and height to determine your weather you are at a healthy weight or not. This system is flawed for many reasons and the errors usually start the minute you weigh in.

Your weigh-in at a physical is usually done while you are wearing 4-7 pounds of clothing and accessories, plus your morning coffee and breakfast. This extra weight can have a dramatic effect on your BMI number since the equation itself is so simple.

The BMI as stated before, was developed in the early 19th century, and just think of how much has changed for humans since then. We now have access to an abundance of healthy proteins and understanding of how to eat foods in a more healthy manner. These two factors alone contribute to people carrying more muscle and less fat than a human in the early 19th century.

Another interesting fact is our scientific understanding of how to add muscle through exercise has changed immensely just in the last 40 years, let alone 200 years! I might venture to say “exercise” wasn’t a word when the BMI Scale was created. This means humans of today, especially the ones that spend a lot of time weight lifting, have a lot more muscle mass, and this will again shift the BMI scale to a number that doesn’t accurately assess this individual.

In short, what I am trying to say is, next time you go into the hospital and the doctor gives you your BMI, pay little to no attention to it. Do yourself a favor. Go exercise, eat healthy and focus on living a healthy lifestyle, because with this approach no “scale” or “equation” will stop you from good health.

Ricky Grabow