BMI vs body weight: What’s a better indicator of your health?

BMI and body weight help in assessing the health and fitness levels. They factor in separate parameters. A nutritionist helps us understand the difference.
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Grace Bains Updated: 16 Dec 2021, 03:57 pm IST
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In order to monitor and assess our health, we often use parameters such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and/or body weight. These are indicators of our overall health, wellness and fitness levels. These indicators get impacted by a variety of factors ranging from age, dietary habits, frequency of exercise, and lifestyle.

To better understand the difference between body weight and BMI, HealthShots spoke to Anshu Chaturvedi, Head Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur.

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BMI and weight loss are both indicators of overall fitness levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How is BMI different from bodyweight?

BMI is the method used to measure obesity. It is calculated based on the weight-to-height ratio and helps assess the risk profile for diseases. The normal range is 18.5 to 24.9 for adults. Chaturvedi mentioned how BMI has always been considered a good indicator of overall health and fitness. However, she clarified that this indicator is prone to fluctuate with age. For example, let’s say a 25-year-old person has a normal BMI of 22, but the same won’t be the case when that person turns 40 or 50 years old.

Bodyweight, on the other hand, said Chaturvedi, can be regulated and maintained across age groups. Even though an increase in age may impact body weight, it can still be kept under control through regular exercise and consuming a balanced diet. Bodyweight is composed of the weight of your muscles, fat, bone, and water content.

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Keep an eye on your body weight and BMI for the sake of your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She also mentioned factoring in Waist Hip Ratio (WHR), which is also an indicator for overall health and should be considered in conjunction with BMI. She highlighted that It should be less than 0.86 for women.

Which is a better indicator?

Bodyweight is a better indicator than BMI, according to Chaturvedi, as it is not subject to massive fluctuations as one progresses in age.

She further mentioned that these two indicators are linked with each other, and it is prudent to keep them in check.

So, ladies, be mindful of these indicators, and regularly monitor them to track your overall health and fitness status!

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