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Ideal Weight Formulas: Issues and Alternatives to the BMI


Ideal Weight Formulas: Issues and Alternatives to the BMIOne of the current most common measures for calculating ideal weight is the BMI, or Body Mass Index.

However, this wasn’t always the case.

Although there have been many different formulas used over the years, all of them have their pros and cons and the BMI is no exception.

Issues With BMI

Some of the issues people have with the BMI is the fact that it doesn’t note a difference between weight due to muscle and weight due to fat. Most Americans with a high BMI readily admit that it’s not because they look like a body builder; however, some body builders have very high BMIs.

In their case, the high BMI is due to muscle weight rather than body fat. Many argue that this means the BMI is not an ideal measurement of a person’s health.

Another issue with the BMI is that it doesn’t take into account body shape or waist circumference. People who have an apple-shaped body with a wider circumference stomach are more likely to develop heart conditions than those with a pear-shaped body.

Some people find they have a BMI within the healthy range but have an apple-shaped body and are still at risk for health issues.

Finally, the BMI doesn’t take body fat into consideration. Having high percentages of body fat can put people at risk for many health issues and often men and women require different percentages of body fat.

Alternatives to BMI

There are, of course, alternatives to the BMI. For years the tables used by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company were a commonly used indicator of health. However it’s only designed for adults aged 25-59 and it also doesn’t appear to be an accurate measure of men or women who are particularly tall.

Devine Formula

Another alternative is the Devine Formula. Originally created as a method of calculating medical dosages, the formula inadvertently became one of the most commonly used methods of calculating ideal weight.

The idea was simple: for women, start at 100 pounds for the first five feet, then add five pounds for each additional inch after five feet of height. For men, start at 110 pounds. The flaw with this formula is that it’s generally too low for women and significantly too low for short women.

Waist Circumference

One of the simplest is measurement of the waist circumference. Experts say that for women, a waist measuring more than 35 inches indicates that they are at risk for heart conditions and other health problems.

For men, a waist measuring more than 40 inches indicates at-risk status.

Waist-to-Hip Ratio

A related test is the waist-to-hip ratio. Measure your natural waist, then measure your hip at the widest part. Divide the circumference of your waist by the measurement of your hips. 0.80 is considered low risk for women, 0.95 is considered low risk for men.

Body Fat Measurement

Body fat measurement is another test that works as a good alternative to the BMI. Health practitioners simply measure skin and fat throughout the body (waist, biceps, triceps, shoulder blades) and calculate the percentage of body fat. Higher body fat results would indicate obesity.

There are many different formulas for calculating ideal weight and assessing one’s health. If you’re feeling confused about which one is best for you, consider trying several. If all of them agree that you’re in a healthy range, congratulations!

If several of them indicate that you’re at-risk for health issues, you’ll have a good starting point for moving toward a healthy new you.

For more information on losing or maintaining your idea weight, check out our Weight Loss Tips.

You CAN Lose Weight Safely and Naturally!

Whether it’s weight loss or weight gain, whether it’s five pounds or fifty, almost everyone in our society – irrespective of gender or age – has dealt with some form of weight issue. Often excess weight and weight loss issues revolve around slow metabolism and lack of energy. So, detoxification and system cleansing are frequently needed to boost both metabolic rates and energy levels.

Achieving weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial factors in sustaining both physical and psychological well-being. Shedding those extra pounds not only helps protect the body from heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes and other physical ailments, but also from mental problems like stress and depression.

At Native Remedies you will find a comprehensive set of herbal remedies to help you manage and optimize your body and weight health – naturally and safely.
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  1. Ideal Weight Formulas: Issues and Alternatives ... - December 27, 2013

    […] Some of the issues people have with the BMI is the fact that it doesn’t note a difference between weight due to muscle and weight due to fat. […]

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