Why your BMI may not accurately depict good health - KMSP-TV

Why your BMI may not accurately depict good health

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The Body Mass Index measurement has been under fire for years, and Dr. Archelle Georgiou says that new tests may begin to emerge that more accurately depict a person's risk for heart disease.

As you may already know, BMI is measured by taking your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. (Simply do an Internet search of "BMI calculator" and you'll find tons of websites that allow you to bypass the metric system and get a quick result by punching in your information.)

Dr. Georgiou says this measurement can be accurate for about 80 percent of people, it's not always the best way to determine a person's risk for heart disease.

In particular, athletic individuals will have greater bone density and more muscle, which makes a BMI appear higher than someone who weighs the same but carries more fat. The measurement can also understate a short person's risk for heart disease.

In general, BMI can be used as a screening test, but perhaps a more accurate measurement would be waist circumference using a tape measure. Typically, if a man's waist circumference is larger than 40 inches and a woman's is larger than 35, he or she may be at risk for heart disease as they carry more fat around vital organs in the midsection. 

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