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The body mass index (BMI) is not reliable: Other parameters that we can use to measure overweight and obesity
A few days ago we talked about the lack of reliability of the body mass index or BMI as one of the parameters that indicate the possible obesity or overweight of a person. And is that the body mass index only relates two factors: height and weight, without taking into account other more important as the amount of muscle mass, fat mass, the amount of water in our body or where the fat is located in the same.
If the body mass index does not help us in determining whether a person is overweight or obese, what other parameters can we take into account? We review the formulas that we can use when determining the health of our body in relation to weight.
- Waist / Hip Index or ICC: the waist-hip index measures the relationship between the waist circumference (in centimeters) and the perimeter of our hips (in centimeters). It is generally used as a means to know the amount of abdominal fat we have and, although not completely reliable (it does not distinguish between fat mass and muscle mass), it is a more faithful parameter than the body mass index. The normal values of the waist / hip index are between 0.71 and 0.84 in the case of women , and between 0.78 and 0.94 in the case of men.
- Waist / height index or ICA: another parameter similar to the previous ones but which in this case relates the perimeter of our waist (in centimeters) with our height (in meters). It also does not take into account the distribution of body fat, the level of activity of the person, his muscular hypertrophy or other important parameters when determining whether he is overweight or obese. Yes it seems a reliable parameter when determining the risk of heart attack.
- Body fat index: is the amount of fat with respect to the total body weight that our body contains and is expressed as a percentage. It is directly related to the weight and the amount of lean mass, and to obtain it we need a bioimpedance scale or a measurement by means of pylometers made by a health professional.
- Visceral fat index: it is interesting because it distinguishes between the amount of peripheral fat (the one that accumulates in the extremes and that is less dangerous for our health) and the amount of visceral fat (the one that accumulates in the area of the abdomen, is cause of central obesity and is more dangerous for us). It is necessary to measure it with a bioimpedance. Normal values range from 1 to 12.
- Body volume index or IVB ( body volume indicator): it is a new parameter that relates the total body volume with the volume of our abdomen. This parameter does take into account the abdominal fat of the subject, and compares it with the amount of total fat in your body. This measurement can be done manually or a mobile application developed by a technology company that estimates the subject’s body volume index through personal data, a front photograph and a profile photograph can be used.
- Healthy life habits: not only is it enough to look at the figures, because nutrition is not an exact science. Not in vain, already on other occasions we have talked about the metabolically obese thin : people who have excess body fat, with all the risks that this entails for their health, but maintain a weight within normality. Healthy lifestyle habits such as a healthy diet, daily physical activity, sports and proper rest can also help us determine whether we have a healthy lifestyle overall.