You can check your health by measuring either your BMI or your body fat percentage.

You can check your health by measuring either your BMI or your body fat percentage.

January 6, 2024, Saturday — Now that it’s 2017 and everyone is trying to lose weight, what is the best way to figure out how many pounds you need to lose? How about body fat?

“You should keep an eye on both your body fat ratio and your BMI. BMI is a good place to start, but it shouldn’t be used by itself to diagnose health problems or figure out how much body fat someone has, said Claire Edgemon, a senior registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “BMI alone might not tell you the whole story about a person’s health.”

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How come BMI isn’t a better way to measure body fat?

It only keeps track of how much someone weighs compared to how tall they are. It doesn’t keep track of their muscle, bone, or fat mass. Edgemon said that blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol numbers should also be checked because BMI doesn’t show what’s going on with the metabolism.

Percentage of body fat, on the other hand, shows how much of a person’s weight is fat. The waist size is a quick way to find out how much body fat someone has. Edgemon said that a waist size of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men means that a person has more belly fat and more health risks.
“There is a healthy range for body fat percentage, but age or gender are two things to think about that make it different.” “A healthy body fat range for women is 25–31% and for men it’s 18–24%, and this doesn’t depend on age or level of fitness,” she said in a Baylor news statement.

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Edgemon says that you should look at both your BMI and your body fat rate to see if your weight is really healthy. If the numbers make you feel bad, make it a goal to diet and exercise your way to a healthy body fat percentage and/or BMI in 2019.

Edgemon said, “The recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate activity five days a week, with muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week to get your heart rate up.” “Also, eat more plant-based foods. A lot of healthy foods are found in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats.

Where to Find It

  • A news statement from the Baylor School of Medicine on January 4, 2024

Disclaimer: Note that the statistical information in medical articles only shows broad trends and does not apply to specific people. Different things can make a big difference. When making decisions about your own health care, you should always get personalised medical advice.