Can BMI Lie?



LLocal fitness guru Mackie Shilstone doesn’t believe simply calculating body mass index (BMI) tells him enough when he is assessing a person’s size. For Shilstone, BMI is only the first step.

“I make it a three-tier approach,” Shilstone says. “I first look at what your BMI is to point me in a direction. Then I want to know what your total percentage of body fat is. BMI and body fat don’t go one to one, but the outcome can be the same. Then after I go to body fat, I want to know where you store your fat. All the research points to the waist measurement — from the belly button — as the single most predictor of disease there is.”

Shilstone isn’t alone in questioning the public’s over reliance on BMI. Too often, people consider only what their individual BMI in determining how healthy they are. They don’t take into account their physical activity, diet and how they feel.

Check out our upcoming issue’s health feature “A Numbers Game” to find out what other experts think of BMI and if it’s possible to have a BMI above “normal” and still be healthy.

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