I am overweight…. and so is Kim Kardashian.
At least that’s what conventional medicine tells me. But there’s more to the story.
Most doctors use your body mass index (BMI) to determine if you’re underweight, normal, overweight or obese. The BMI is a chart that measures your height, weight, and age and shows you a standardized percentage of body fat.
But the BMI is measuring the wrong thing. It measures muscle and fat. This can mislead you and make you think you’re obese.
A reliable way to find out if you’re at a natural weight is to measure body composition. This test compares the amount of fat to muscle, water, and bones for accurate results.
I may be overweight on the BMI scale, but my real body fat percentage is 23% percent – well within the fit range for body composition. (See chart below.)
The BMI also makes underweight mistakes. I have clients who insist they’re normal and fit because the BMI tells them so. And their conventional doctors agree. Then I ask them if they know their body composition. The answer is almost always no.
When I measure, I find many of my patients are not as “healthy” as they thought.
When I see clients in my studio, I use good old-fashioned calipers to measure my client’s body composition. I like this method because it’s accurate, easy, and fast. You can do this at home on your own. If you’d like, you can get the same calipers I use here.
There’s an even more dangerous flaw in the BMI: It can’t measure deadly visceral fat. This type of fat collects in your abdominal cavity and surrounds your organs, restricting them. Visceral fat also is a haven for toxins that cannot be cleaned by the liver, which then contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.1
A waist circumference test is a simple way to see if you’re at risk for having visceral fat. Just wrap a flexible measuring tape around the smallest part of your waist. Then find your number on the chart below. By knowing where you stand and taking action, you’re helping prevent deadly sickness and disease.
NICHS here in Northern Ireland is supporting a new public information campaign to tackle overweight and obesity by the Public Health Agency (PHA).
The campaign is taking two main approaches:
1. Helping people to identify whether they are inching towards bad health by being overweight or obese.
2. Offering advice on small steps that they can take to help reduce their waist size.
More than one in two adults in Northern Ireland are now overweight or obese, but many people don’t even realise that they fall into this category and are putting their health at risk.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. People need to think about whether they are inching towards poor health and to take positive action to address it if they are.
That is the most important thing. To understand that you are at risk for disease and that it is not a judgement on you. You just need to take action.