Health Risks: Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Your Body Mass Index! by Joy Stephenson-Laws JD

Health Risks: Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Your Body Mass Index!

People come in all shapes and sizes, yet doctors have been taught to measure them all the same way. Yes, we speak of the infamous BMI, or body mass index. But people of different ethnicities distribute fat differently. For example, a South Asian woman with a normal BMI might actually have a dangerously high level of visceral fat (wrapped around the abdominal organs), increasing her risk for heart disease. Without measuring her waist circumference, her doctor might end her physical with "you're fine, see you in a year." Thankfully, some doctors are now turning to other means of assessing a person's health risks from weight, such as:

  • observing how their clothes fit
  • how damaged their joints are from supporting excess weight 
  • measuring waist circumference

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The information on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal health care provider.

Elisa Schmitz
Great tip, Joy Stephenson-Laws JD ! Good to know awareness is growing about this!!
Meredith Schneider
So agree Joy Stephenson-Laws JD ! So important to share so we don't beat ourselves up for not being where the BMI is telling us to be. That's why I love using a metabolic scale for my clients and measure their waist. Thanks for sharing!
Rachel W. Lewter
As a person that once weighed 351 pounds and a BMI of 52, I know first hand the BMI can not be the best indication of health. My blood pressure was never high, no diabetes, cholesterol problems, nothing. I lost 200 pounds because I didn't want those "labels on my medical chart to follow me around if they ever developed.
Thanks for sharing your article with us.

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