18 2 is an unhealthy BMI

10 reasons why the calculator is pointless

There are therefore many reasons - at least 10 - why it is best to ignore the BMI and also the BMI calculator:

  1. The BMI or the formula for the BMI calculator was developed by Adolphe Quetelet in the early 19th century. He wasn't a doctor, nor was he a fitness trainer. He was a mathematician and explicitly stated that the BMI is not suitable for making statements about a person's body fat percentage, but only for assessing the prevalence of obesity in the population.
  2. The BMI is scientific nonsense. There is no plausible reason to square a person's height in order to estimate their weight. Quetelet simply came up with the formula because he couldn't find any other way of presenting the existing data well.
  3. The BMI ignores the waist circumference - and this is a pretty good indicator of how overweight a person is.
  4. The BMI ignores the development of a person's muscles, so that bodybuilders, but also simply trained people with strong muscle tone, always have a higher BMI than people with lower weight but a higher percentage of body fat.
  5. The BMI ignores the different body types and assumes an untrained average person.
  6. The BMI is not suitable for ectomorphic people and classifies them all too quickly as underweight.
  7. Using the age-dependent table, the BMI ensures that some people who are actually overweight believe they are of normal weight.
  8. The BMI allows older people to have a higher weight than younger people - and it is well known that older people have a higher body fat percentage than younger people, so that measuring the body fat percentage would be more important than determining the BMI, especially for older people.
  9. The BMI does not help to ensure healthier people, as even doctors usually orientate themselves to the BMI, i.e. do not use any methods to determine the specific body fat percentage.
  10. The BMI dates back to the early 19th century, has no scientific basis - and is still used. So we believe in a 200 year old mathematical construct that can tell us whether we are overweight or not.

BMI calculator: just a rough guide

You can of course use the BMI calculator for a rough estimate of your weight. However, the BMI calculator will not be able to tell you whether you are carrying too much body fat and therefore a health risk despite your ideal BMI.

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  • Gallagher, Dympna, et al. "How useful is body mass index for comparison of body fatness across age, sex, and ethnic groups ?." American journal of epidemiology 143.3 (1996): 228-239. (How useful is BMI in establishing a relationship between body fat and age, gender and ethnicity?)
  • Janssen, Ian, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, and Robert Ross. "Waist circumference and not body mass index explains obesity-related health risk." The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.3 (2004): 379-384. (The waist circumference and not the BMI shows the health risk due to obesity)

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This information is passed to the best of my knowledge and belief. They are intended exclusively for those interested and for further training and are in no way to be understood as diagnostic or therapeutic instructions. We do not assume any liability for damages of any kind that arise directly or indirectly from the use of the information. If you suspect illness, please consult your doctor or alternative practitioner

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