Why The BMI (Body Mass Index) is The MOST Important Tool For Weight Loss and Health

anthony mason before after

The recent tragic death of NBA star Anthony Mason at age 48 provides a real world example of the science-backed evidence on the importance of the BMI. 

The body mass index or BMI is a measure of how your weight compares to others based on weight and height.  As an example, for a person who stands 5’10’, an “ideal BMI” of 25,  would be 174 pounds.  Here’s how the BMI weight classes stack up: You can calculate yours here.

BMI definitions

I know a lot of men (bodybuilders, serious athletes) and women (models and, well, all women except maybe a Crossfit stud) who think 5’10” 174 lbs is nowhere near the ideal weight.  They argue the BMI doesn’t take sex, age or muscle mass into account so, among other errors,  the index has incredibly fit people classified as obese which makes it meaningless.  Are they right?

NOT ACCORDING TO SCIENCE!

In fact, science proves that the BMI is a remarkably accurate predictor of risk of major diseases.   Therefore, for men and women, the BMI is among the MOST important tools in your efforts for long-term weight loss and health.

bmi disease chart

 

Chart source U Michigan Health Website

As you can see, the further your BMI is from 25, the greater your risk of serious disease.  Perhaps it’s just an amazing coincidence that the “meaningless” BMI formula correlates to optimal health just below BMI 25?  More likely, it’s some some powerful scientific support to convince you to pursue a 25 BMI!

TAKEAWAYS

1)  YOUR BMI MATTERS A LOT — IF NOT TODAY, THEN SOMEDAY!

When the mega-ripped, teeny weeny and other experts bash the gold standard of a 25 BMI for optimal health, they are forgetting that the BMI covers ALL AGES.  So, a 25 BMI reading that might not mean much today, might save your life years from now.

For example, A beast-like 30 year old bodybuilder with a 35 BMI and 10% bodyfat is probably far more healthy today at that BMI than if he dropped weight today to get down to 25.  However, what are the odds he’ll maintain 10 bodyfat % for LIFE.  As he ages, keeping in mind and pursuing a 25 BMI could be key to his long-term weight management and health.  With all due respect, Anthony Mason’s tragic death at age 48 provides a compelling recent example real-life example:

anthony mason before after  photo source:  www.amazon2u.tk

2) BEHAVIORAL IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR BMI

20yo yo behavioral factors

The New England Journal of Medicine’s landmark 2009 ultimate study of studies determined that success on a diet is determined primarily by how you manage your behaviors once you decide to go on a diet.  EET has built our entire plan around this compelling science backed finding.

Assuming you’re not a bodybuilder or fashion model and you’ve got some weight to lose now, always remembering that a 25 BMI is ideal to reduce risk of serious disease for the rest of your life can encourage BMI lowering behaviors.   The great news is you don’t need to get your BMI below 25 to see results, the closer you get the less risk you have!  Just do something easy to get started, like STEP 1: Figure out your current BMI.  That’s it for today — why rush? You have lots of time to lower your BMI–we all have to manage our weight and health for years anyway, right?

Maybe now you’re more interested in taking action to achieve and sustain a BMI closer to 25?  If so, welcome to the world of behavioral dieting – your best chance at long term success.  And, like everything The EET Fitness Plan teaches–the BMI puts science on your side!

Feel free to read more about how important behavioral dieting is to long-term success in our recent posts here and here.

  Questions?  Contact us at  eetfit@gmail.com     

disclaimer oct 2012

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