Are Weight Scales and BMI a Good Way of Measuring Health? By Jonas Forsberg
Some of the most covered topics in the media today is related to diets and weight loss programs. One day you are told to eliminate all fat from your diet. The next day, carbohydrates are the evil culprits you are advised to avoid.
Some of these diets are more stupid than others. Remember, the media is supposed to make headlines, and the more out of the picture, the better. So what is the problem with all these diets and weight loss programs?
To start with, most of them involve subtracting one or more food groups from your diet. The truth is, when you take carbohydrates or fat out of your diet, you are doing more harm to your health than good.
The media often seems to have found a new mind blowing diet or weight loss program that is capable of getting you in the best shape ever. They provide images of people that have lost HUGE amount of weight in NO TIME. This is the wrong picture to portray for two reasons: the word weight, and the methods advertised.
1. The BS About Weight
Just about anyone who wants to become healthy focuses exclusively on weight. Lets say you want to look good in the mirror or be able to fit into those amazing jeans of yours.
Should you really focus exclusively on your weight? Definitely not! For those of you who know anything at all about the human body and its functions, you know that muscles are more dense than fat, which leads to the fact that muscles mass is more compact than fat and only takes up 1/3 the space. What we should focus on instead is body fat and the way we look and feel. Weight itself does not show whether you are unhealthy or not, at least not the way the general public tends to believe these days.
When you read about health in the newspaper, they always talk about weight! It is rarely about fat, and that is really the big issue today.
2. BMI - A Good Way of Measuring Health?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is supposed to determine whether or not a person is healthy or overweight/obese.
Magazines often provide a BMI calculator for the reader so they easily can determine whether he or she is in the danger zone.
You may think that BMI sounds like a decent measurement to determine health, but let me tell you that it is NOT! Look at this list:
Shawn Crawford, Sprinter (USA)
Mark Lewis-Francis, Sprinter (GB)
Ryan Bayley, Cycling (AUSTRIA)
I could keep adding names to this list all day long. Wondering why I am showing you this list?
These world class athletes are all classified as overweight by the BMI guidelines. You can also find athletes that have been classified as obese by BMI guidelines. Come on!
Do you really think world class athletes that basically live for training and health would be overweight and obese?
The reason you should take BMI guidelines with a grain of salt is similar to the issue of weight scales. BMI does not consider the fact that muscles are more dense than fat.
Bottom line is: from now on, do not use weight scales and BMI when it comes to monitoring or deciding whether or not you are unhealthy, or in the danger zone.