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Many people, even those who are in shape, take issue with BMI. They say it doesn’t tell the whole story. Age, gender, and muscle mass are just some of the factors that can affect an accurate measurement of body mass index.
Although doctors and dietitians widely use BMI to identify possible weight problems in adults, the measure has come under attack as a reliable health indicator. It may not provide an accurate measure of body fat for several reasons.
Some of these reasons include:
There are other ways to see if you’re overweight or obese:
If your BMI shows that you are overweight or obese, you can lower it. Follow three simple steps:
To find your BMI, use one of the many BMI calculators available online. A normal, healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 for most adults. Although it may not be a perfect way to assess weight, it still offers an important starting point to have a conversation with your doctor.
What do you think? Is BMI a good measure of health? Tell us in the comments!
Originally published 8/4/2016; Revised 2021
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