Posted by: laser | 2009-02-25

BMI is dubious

Hi Diet Doc

My BMI is about 26 and I' m on Weigh-Less to lose some weight. Aiming for a BMI of 20-25 would put my goal weight at 57 - 70kg (1.68m tall). This range is enormous! Also, at 57kg I' ve calculated I would only have about 12% body fat which I think is unhealthy for an active late-20-something woman. I also don' t think the BMI takes into account one' s muscle mass at all. Is this really an objective measure of a " healthy"  weight? Surely a target body fat % or is better than setting a goal weight based on BMI?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Laser
The BMI is a tool that is used to estimate if someone is overweight or obese of within the normal range or anorexic. For your height of a weight of 62 kg would give you what is regarded as an 'ideal BMI for women". As you correctly state, an individual with a high percentage of muscle tissue may weigh more, but have a low body fat%. If your body fat % is already below 24% (the normal value for women who are not elite athletes), and your weight is around 62 kg, then you are probably in the peak of health and very fit. Setting a target body fat % only works with individuals who do physical exercise and have access to accurate methods of measuring this value.
Best regards

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