There are numerous methods to test a person’s body fat percentage, and they all have their issues with accuracy. The problem with the body mass index aka BMI, which is used to determine if someone is overweight, normal weight or overweight, is that it gives no information on body fat percentage or fat distribution. If you’re muscular, it will diagnose you as fat; and short folks will have an incorrect BMI (1). The other problem is that people know this and use it as an excuse not to lose weight. These individuals will say things like: I’m big boned, or, it’s not taking into account that I lift. If you need to suck that tummy in to look good in your mirror, it’s time to face realty that it’s time to lose weight.
BMI calculator: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
- Sport Nutrition for Healthy and Performance, 2nd edition by Manore, Meyer and Thompson, (pg. 215).
Photo: By plugging in this fitness trainer’s weight and height, the BMI results show him as obese!