Body Mass Index (BMI) Confusion

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimate of your body fat, based on your height and weight. BMI is a tool often used to better gauge one’s physical condition. My BMI is about 26; this appears to be related to my weight of 200 pounds with a height of 74 inches (6’2”). If I exclusively focus on my BMI of 26, I might get discouraged about my diet and health.

I certainly could stand to lose about 5 pounds; but I don’t think I’m too much out of shape. I work out 5-6 times a week – trying to integrate resistance training in my aerobic activity. I’m 20% body fat although my long range goal is to bring my body fat down to 15 or 16%.

Body types play a role in your overall health but does the BMI consider the different body types in its calculations? I have a long torso so even though I’m lean, the long torso adds additional weight and pushes up my BMI. Someone with the same height and fat content with a shorter torso and longer legs would most likely have a smaller BMI. It would be helpful if they could modify this tool to factor in someone’s body type or measurements of key body parts to help make the index more accurate.

I hope I won’t be discouraged with a BMI of 26. At least I’ll try not to let it affect my diet and healthy lifestyle. It is important for me to remember my diet is low fat, primarily vegetarian, I exercise regularly with aerobic and anaerobic activity and my body fat amount (currently 20%) has been gradually decreasing over the last 3-4 years.