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Nutrition 101: Why BMI is outdated

Nutrition 101: Why BMI is outdated

We have an Inbody 270 for our nutrition program here at Radiant Nutrition and Fitness Coaching! We love this as it gives us objective data to discuss to ensure we are trending in the right direction for individual goals. 

One of the numbers listed is BMI and I ALWAYS cross it out right in front of the client. 

So why does this dietitian HATE BMI? Because it doesn’t take into account bone density or muscle mass! It is only looking at your weight and height and it is an outdated measurement to correlate to our health. 

Let’s break it down:

Imagine 2 women who are 5’3” and 150 pounds= BMI 26.57 which is categorized as “overweight”. 

Woman A is 22% body fat meaning she has about 33 pounds of fat and could be described as having an athletic build. 

Woman B is 40% body fat meaning she has about 60 pounds of fat and depending on how she holds it, may look overweight. Let’s say she has what is considered an “apple” shape meaning she carries more of her weight around her midsection. 

Woman A is strong and healthy. She can eat more food and not gain weight as she has more metabolically active tissues in her body. She also has less fat which is associated with less risk for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. 

Woman B is at an increased risk for those diseases as she has more fat around her midsection. This is due to an increase of visceral fat stores which studies have shown to increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and even certain cancers. Visceral fat also produces more inflammatory markers.

BMI will tell these women the same thing, but it doesn’t tell us the entire story. This is why we love our Inbody biometric scans so we can talk about actual health markers rather than relying on a calculation that was invented almost 200 years ago. 

If you are looking to make positive changes towards your overall health and wellness, schedule a free intro today to chat with our expert coaches about your goal and how we can help you achieve them! 

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