Signs that you are not overweight or obese, even if the BMI says otherwise


Body mass index is a calculation of height and weight that is used to examine people for obesity and overweight.

BMI may be a useful metric, but it ignores other factors that influence health.

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U formula for BMI – weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters – was invented in the early 19th century as an easy measure of obesity in the general population and not necessarily for individual fat, according to NPR.

BMI is still used regularly today by medical professionals to determine if a person has a healthy amount of body fat.

Although it may be useful in a general sense, BMI lacks important factors such as family history, genetics, lifestyle, age, sex, and muscle mass when considering the overall health of a child. person and their risks of developing diseases.

In fact, many people who are considered in the “normal” range of BMI have been found unhealthy based on other factors, a Study led by UCLA released in 2016 found.

Here are seven signs that you are actually healthy, even if your BMI says you are overweight or obese.

Your waist circumference is less than 35 to 40 inches

Health Weightloss Scale

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Dimension of life it can actually be one of the most important factors in measuring a person’s overall health, Insider said earlier. You may have a high BMI, but if the circumference of your waist is less than 35 inches as a woman and 40 inches as a man, you are more likely to have a healthier weight.

“A waist circumference greater than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men could not only determine overweight status but put a hard and fast number on one’s health, ”dietitian Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, told Healthline.

“The waist circumference above these numbers indicates excessive belly fat, a dangerous type of fat that surrounds vital organs, which increases one’s risk.


high cholesterol

high blood pressure
, and metabolic syndrome, ”he added.

Your fat is stored mainly in your hips, not around your belly

body diversity

The bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

Getty / Luis Alvarez

Similarly, where your body stores fat is an indicator of your health lacking BMI.

“[BMI] it also tells us the distribution of body fat in a person, ”said Eva Tseng, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, PopSugar. “We know people with more central or abdominal adiposity [obesity] they have a higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death compared to people with a similar BMI but less abdominal adiposity ”.

In other words, the fat that builds up around your waist and your belly is more dangerous than the fat that builds up around your thighs and hips.


Your muscle mass makes up the bulk of your weight

Lifting weights

BMI cannot differentiate between muscle and fat.


BMI does not count body composition, which means missing the difference between muscle mass and fat.

Because muscles are denser and heavier than fat, bodybuilders and other professional athletes like football players are often considered

or overweight based solely on their BMI.

Anyone who has a high BMI due to muscle mass probably doesn’t need to worry about the health problems associated with obesity and overweight.

You are generally fit and active

fitness exercise stairs

Fitness is more important than BMI.

Andrew Harnik / AP

If you are generally fit and active, you will be healthier than you are, regardless of your BMI.

According to a Study 2007 done on veterans with

type 2 diabetes
, A person’s fitness level predicts their mortality better than BMI.

“It’s much more important to avoid low fitness than to avoid fat,” said cardiologist Carl Lavie MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP Mom Jones.

Your ethnicity can also influence your BMI

black woman curvy confidence

Some Blacks have higher BMIs without the same health risks as whites.

Tara Moore / Getty Images

Depending on your ethnicity, your BMI may be more or less unhealthy than you think.

Studies have shown that Asians have one increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI and have one higher mortality risk to be overweight at a lower BMI.

In contrast, African Americans can have a higher BMI without the same health risks that a white person might have, according to WebMD. They are also less likely to have concentrated fat in the belly area.

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