Is Using BMI For Measuring Obesity that Reliable?

BMIFor years it has been well known that excess body fat is not good for you. Obesity, which is considered as deadly as smoking, is taking over the country by storm. Traditionally obesity was measured by the weight scale, but now, using a more accurate system called “BMI” or body mass index, obesity can be better measured.

This number calculates your body size and accounts for bone mass. If your BMI is over 30 – your considered obese. And if you are obese, the amount of belly fat you may be carrying can be a lot, which will prevent you from getting flat abs or even a sick pack.

BMI does not take into account muscle mass, especially in the case of athletes that have low body fat and a high percentage of muscle mass would be computed as obese when they are not. So while BMI is good for determining whether a person is too heavy or not, it can be deceiving in the cases of athletes. But if you are not “ripped” and your BMI is high – you are likely overweight or obese and this will inhibit your ability to gain those six pack abs that everyone so highly desires.

A measurement that is more targeted to belly fat is the waist to hip ratio, which reflects on the concentration of fat around your belly in contrast to those around your hips or thighs. Scientists find that heart attack sufferers had similar BMIS but higher waist to hip ratios compared to those who had flat or toned abs and have never had a heart attack.

There is a standard waist measurement cutoff point of forty inches for men and thirty-five inches for women that are considered an unhealthy sign of excessive visceral fat – which is actually fat hidden around vital organs within the body. These measurements hold true even if you have a low BMI number that belly fat will still have harmful effects on your body.

Once you know your body mass index, that information can be used to determine whether or not you want to lose more weight or gain more muscle. Keep in mind muscle weighs more than fat and can skew the results of the BMI. You can use the waist-to-hip measurement to make sure that you are in shape even if your BMI is a little high, and sometimes this is more accurate than relying on the BMI calculation.

To get the six pack abs, a BMI number is helpful but not always essential. To get these abs you must know and understand your body fat percentage as that seemingly directly correlates to subcutaneous fat that hides the abdominal muscles. Getting down through that fat can be very tough – it takes a strict diet and much concentration on exercising the core muscles.

The diet must be high in protein to build muscles and then must also be low in sugars and fats or it will be detrimental to your exercise. Remembering to arm yourself with the proper information – namely nutrition, what your body needs, and your body mass index – is the best way to achieve your six pack ab dream.

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Written by Heidi Shepard

Heidi was born and raised in Vero Beach, Florida. At a very young age she discovered her passion for writing, and graduated in 1996 from Florida State University with a major in journalism and minor in Nursing. She is a licensed RN part-time and also works full-time writing for various local health journals and papers. She is a definite asset to Newhealthalert. Not only does her experience and passion show through her keen writing, but her expertise in the medical field enables her to capture the best news topics and subjects found in the health niche.

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