BMI Calculator – Its Pros and LimitationsThe use of a BMI calculator is one of the many ways to evaluate your weight and body composition. The result will help you determine how much fats you have in your body. Although you can undergo MRI to obtain accurate result, it’s not readily available. Plus, it’s costly.
How to use BMI calculator?
BMI or Body Mass Index is obtained by comparing your height to your weight. It’s a convenient way to assess whether or not your weight is healthy according to your height.
To make it easier for you to solve your BMI, you may use online calculators to crack your body mass index. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Mayo Clinic have provided BMI calculators for free.
On the other hand, you may use these equations to solve your BMI manually:
(Weight in pounds)/(Height in inches) x 703
Healthy weight falls between 15 and 40. However, if you’re underweight or overweight, your number may fall outside of the parameters.
Obese individuals, more often than not, have a BMI of 30 or greater.
There’s also a BMI calculator available for your iPhone or Android-based mobile.
Why use a BMI calculator?
It’s the easiest way to determine your weight. You just have to input the required numbers and you’ll receive your score within a few seconds, even if you don’t have special training in fitness.
Another reason this type of method is commonly used is that the results are not complicated. You just have to know your score and compare it to a standardized chart.
Unlike MRI and other methods of determining BMI, this method doesn’t require you to remove your clothing, just your shoes when weighing yourself.
Unfortunately, the score you may obtain is not as accurate as MRI. This is because solving for BMI does not involve muscle mass, water, skeletal weight, internal organs and other organs that may contribute to your weight. It’s one of the reasons that some people’s scores fall into the bad side, even though they are healthy.
And if you’re an athlete, your BMI score may be considered as overweight despite the fact that you have low amount of body fat but high muscle mass. This is one of the reasons football players, weightlifters and other athletes don’t rely on BMI calculators to know whether or not their weight is healthy.
What should I do with the result?
The results provided by a BMI calculator are just a snapshot of your weight according to your height. As previously mentioned, it has its own limitations. Thus, the results must only be used in combination with other tests to further determine how much body fat you have in your body.
In our nutrition club, we used the medically-approved Tanita, which is more accurate than a BMI calculator. It enables us to know the estimated body fat and water of our members.