Over time, experts have come up with a lot of ways to let you know how healthy you are. Body mass index, or BMI, is one of them. But should it be, still?
It turns out measuring BMI to try and predict how healthy you are – and how healthy you may be in the future – is an outdated method. How tall are you? How much do you weigh? This year, research has shown that things like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are much better indicators of how healthy you are.
It’s also about behavior. If you eat right, exercise often and you don’t smoke or drink too much, you’re more likely to lead a pretty healthy life. Even if your BMI tries to predict otherwise. BMI doesn’t take into account what you eat and how active you are. It only uses your height and weight. Because everyone is different, it’s a little counter-productive to think a guy who’s 5’11” and weighs 200 pounds, but eats fast food 15 times a week, is healthier than a guy who’s 5’11” and 250 pounds but cooks his own meals, lifts and walks his dog every day.
MP’s Take: There are a lot of different ways to measure how healthy you are. Just because you might have a higher BMI doesn’t mean you’re overweight in an unhealthy way. Being more muscular means you have a lot of lean muscle mass, and that’s going to make you heavier. Health is also about how you feel. If you are training regularly, eating pretty well and sleeping a decent amount, that’s a good thing. It’s much better to base how healthy you are on your behavior instead of a pretty outdated number that doesn’t really take your habits into account.