Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is BMI Obsolete?

Hello, faithful readers!

This may be our most important post of the last year -- especially for those of you with an unhealthy body composition.  We encourage you to read this posting and respond with questions or comments, as the information below may help revolutionize the medical approach to weight management.

Since PPT's inception, we've declared that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is an inaccurate method of evaluating one's risk for fat-related disease.  Our reasoning?  BMI does not determine any difference between a person's fat weight and lean tissue.  This means that if you were to gain ten pounds of hard-earned muscle while losing ten pounds of excess fat, your BMI would stay the exact same, and your doctor would likely tell you that your exercise efforts were not paying off in terms of fat loss.  Imagine that... You lose fat, gain muscle, and then hear that your BMI hasn't improved.  You'd be making tremendous progress, but you'd be likely to become discouraged from a lack of understanding.  Unlike our methods of body composition assessment (also called body fat percentage assessment), The BMI is a simple system that looks at fat, bone, water and muscle as all falling into one category:  weight.

The medical community has continued to rely on the BMI because of it's simplicity and ease.  And, for non-exercisers, it has some merit (until they begin exercising and gaining muscle, at which point it becomes misleading).  From its inception the Body Mass Index has been questioned for its numerous flaws, and other quick and easy means have been evaluated.  But finally, researchers from the University of Michigan seem to have something on the horizon that is just as simple, but that illustrates a more accurate assessment of health risk.
After assessing anthropometrics, or body circumferences in more than 1100 children ages 6 to 18, correlations were found between neck circumference and risk for later diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, or high blood pressure.  Whereas abdominal obesity is not taken into account with the BMI scale, it does seem to correlate quite well to these neck circumference measurements, thereby leading the researchers to feel that neck measurement would present a more meaningful value to patients than the BMI.

Neck circumference and risk stratification charts are not currently available, but should become so in the near future. In the meantime, rely on direct measurements of body fat (body composition) with your Perfect Personal Trainer, along with anthropometric measurements to predict risks to health and to assess proper lifestyle modification.

Learn more about your risk factors and the best ways to reduce them!  Call (877)698-DO-IT (3648) to speak with a Perfect Personal Trainer.  We're even happy to schedule a free consultation, right in your home or office, and to evaluate your risk factors for you and your family.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Would you like to ask a question or leave a comment for a Perfect Personal Trainer?