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Body Fat Percentage Vs. Body Mass Index

How many times have you heard someone speak of body fat percentage or body mass index?  Do you know the difference between the two?

Both are calculated in different ways, but either may be just as effective at assessing your health and what you may be at risk of developing. Read more to find out the difference between the two and find out if you are at risk of developing diseases caused by being overweight.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

The body mass index is a chart that was created based off of an average amount of people and depending on where you land on this chart, it will determine if you are average, overweight or underweight.  According to this chart if you are between 12.6 to 24.9 you are of average weight. Being higher or lower than that average, you may be considered overweight or underweight.

What is the problem with BMI?

Some argue that the BMI index is too general for most people and may inaccurately confirm you as overweight or underweight.  Also, another concern is that it may not be able to accurately put you at risk for health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

How is BMI calculated?

The BMI is calculated based on your height and weight. The higher your number, the higher you are considered at developing weight-related diseases.

What is body-fat percentage?

Body fat percentage calculates how much of your weight is considered fat.  Recent research has found that using body-fat percentage has been more accurate in finding weight-related diseases in patients in regards to BMI.

What can body-fat percentage do that BMI cannot?

With body-fat percentage you can see how fat is affecting your weight in comparison to muscle. Unfortunately, BMI cannot calculate how much of your weight is affected by fat and muscle, which is a huge difference since muscle weighs more than fat.

For example, an athlete can be considered overweight by the Body Mass index but because they have more muscle than fat they are not considered overweight by the means of body-fat percentage. That is because BMI does not know that this athlete has more muscle than the average person of the same height.


Story Credit

Photo Credit: weight loss yoga synergy By: Jasmine Kaloudis. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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