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MomTalk.com November 20, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Are You Fit or Fat?

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By Michael Castleman


It's hard to resist quick-and-dirty medical tests. After all, they're fast, easy, cheap and noninvasive. The only problem is that their accuracy is limited. For the past several decades, the standard quick-and-dirty test for obesity has been the Body Mass Index (BMI): Multiply your weight in pounds by 703, and divide the result by the square of your height in inches. A normal BMI is 18.5 to 25; anything over that means you're overweight. Sure it's easy -- all you need is a calculator -- but is it accurate?


Flaws in the Formula

More and more, experts are acknowledging the limitations of the BMI formula. "When deciding whether someone is obese, there are other considerations besides BMI," explains obesity specialist Arya M. Sharma, M.D., a professor of medicine at McMaster University School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario. These considerations include:


Athletic conditioning Since muscle weighs more than fat, ultra-fit athletes with lots of muscle and very little body fat can get BMI scores in the "overweight" category even though they're fitter than the average person.

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Categories: Health & Wellness, Newsletter, Women's Health,

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