Do You Know Your BMI? Your Health Depends on It

From the Show: Train Your Body
Summary: BMI has been a long-time measure of weight, but could it also serve as a measure of overall health?
Air Date: 9/17/13
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Brian Parr, PhD
ParrBrian Parr, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of South Carolina Aiken where he teaches courses in exercise physiology, nutrition, and health behaviors. He also conducts research related to physical activity and weight loss.
Do You Know Your BMI? Your Health Depends on It
BMI is the most commonly used measure of body fat, and has widely been thought of as a very valid indicator of obesity.

But could BMI also serve as a measure of your overall health?

BMI is so widely used because it is simple to measure – it only requires knowing height and weight – and because it is a good indicator of body weight and health risks.

That said, it's not perfect.

One of the biggest criticisms of BMI is that it can't distinguish between fat and non-fat tissue; meaning that a person could have a high BMI but not be overly fat. The elevated BMI could be due to excess muscle, as is common in athletes. BMI does not differentiate between muscle and fat.

However, in most cases, people who have a high BMI do have a high percentage of fat on their body. So how can that factor in to how healthy you are overall?

Special guest, Dr. Brian Parr, PhD, and Melanie Cole, MS, discuss BMI as a measure of health and how it can help you to get fit and well.