1: Discuss the limitations of BMI measurement.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a standard for measuring the level of obesity and the associated risks involved. BMI is calculated using a specific formula, the weight of a person in kilograms is divided by their height which is in meters squared (kg/m2).
Although accepted world-wide, the BMI does have certain limitations:
• BMI does not take age, sex, ethnicity or muscle mass into consideration which can affect the relationship between body fat and body mass index.
• Body build and proportion are not taken into account and thus various degrees of body fat can be found for the same BMI. Weight associated with muscle and that associated with fat is not taken into consideration using the BMI measurement.
• BMI does not address the distribution of obesity (e.g. android vs gynoid shape) which is a better predictor of the co-morbidities associated with obesity.
• Unusual body proportions are not taken into account resulting in inaccurate representations of body fat e.g people with above average height may have a very low BMI whilst still being slightly overweight.