Most People Consider BMI A Taboo Topic That Should Be Avoided in Most Social Situations.

BMI. That three-letter word makes most adults flinch at best. It is confusing, and there is conflicting information from one information site to the next. Most information is so outdated that we simply choose to ignore the significance of it on our journey to better health. 35% of adults in the United States are classified as obese, according to Wikipedia. Therefore, the topic of body fat measurement has never been more apparent. However, the methodology for actually evaluating body fat is largely flawed, especially as it relates to BMI.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is still a popular approach of determining body fat, keeping in mind that tactics are severely outdated, based on your weight in relation to your height. Recent studies, including this one, show that many people end up mislabeled as “obese.” Body fat calculators, similarly, use formulas that leave room for many errors and false diagnoses. We’ve all seen the colorful charts where you find your height, then follow down to your weight to get your BMI.  The color scheme changes from green to yellow to orange, then on to darker shades of red alerting you to how unhealthy you are deemed by this method. Then there is my personal favorite, the little tool that pinches your fat rolls (A Body Fat Caliper) to measure just how much fat you have.  As if you were not acutely aware of that factor already. There has got to be a better way.

The one-size-fits-all approach result in a single number that will not accurately evaluate the status of your overall health. Instead, these methods look at broad, overall trends across large groups of people that reveal an average result. Because they are not catered to your individual needs, using this methodology will produce an inaccurate assessment of you. 


Here are eight reasons that demonstrate why BMI is bogus

  1. The BMI formula doesn’t make sense.  Body mass index computes body fat based on height and weight. However, scientifically these results don’t add up. It requires squaring your client’s height and even excludes waist size, which doesn't make any scientific sense for measuring body fat.
  2. The logic behind BMI is inherently flawed. The BMI divides all people into four categories and numbers. Because key factors are omitted from this approach, your client may be healthy, strong, and athletic but categorized incorrectly. Even some football players have been deemed “obese” by these standards.
  3. BMI was originally meant to measure overall trends in large groups of people. Created by a mathematician in the early 19th century, the creator of the BMI originally intended for it to gauge overall trends in a large population, not on an individual basis.
  4. It leaves out key factors. BMI doesn't reveal much about the actual composition of your body, such as how much fat versus muscle you have, as well as bone density.
  5. It doesn't indicate anything about your activity level. The BMI formula doesn’t take into consideration the day-to-day and athletic activity level that clients have, which is critical context that ends up being omitted.
  6. Neither BMI nor body fat calculators show where problem areas in the body are. They don't tell your client anything about their body shape (i.e. apple or pear?). Where fat is located on the body is a very important point of dialogue with your clients when determining health and potential issues. Distribution of body fat is a critical predictor for evaluating their health.
  7. They fail to provide a path forward. Without considering distribution of body fat, activity level, and other aforementioned factors, results from BMI and body fat calculators are terribly inaccurate when measuring clients’ fitness benchmarks to see if their health and fitness routine is improving their health.
  8. As professionals, it provides a limited perspective. Reliance on the quick convenience of BMI or a body fat calculator by doctors and health professionals discourages them from pursuing more accurate methods for evaluating obesity levels. This does not prioritize the wellbeing of their clients.


Measuring body fat is critical for success; however, it’s important to use the right approach to evaluate where you stand and how to improve. Fat mass and muscle mass must be distinguished in order to get you on the right track to optimal health.

With visualization tools and advanced software features, 3D body scanning is the best approach for measuring body fat that puts you on the path to optimal health. 3D body scanning provides the most means of measuring body fat percentage and is now available locally at Rhino Hybrid in our 3D Healthy Imaging Suite.  If you would like to take advantage of the latest technology, feel free to launch your Rhino App and schedule your appointment today! Don't have our free app yet? Download today just follow these links:  IPhone Download  &  Android Download.