Beyond weight and BMI, what indicators should be considered?
Weight and body mass index (BMI) are the most commonly used parameters to assess our health and fitness, and although that should easily get, do not tell everything about our bodies, therefore, what indicators must take into account beyond weight and BMI?
BMI, does it really effective?
The BMI is the ratio between weight and height and is widely used indicator to define the presence of overweight, obese, underweight or malnutrition. However, just based on these two aspects of our body (weight and height) so, many question its usefulness because body composition is also important.
Its easy calculation and measurement even base their use in different research and in professional practice and a recent study has shown that it is a good indicator of cardiovascular risk.
However, previous research concluded that, even with a normal BMI, can have high health risk if we have excess fat , an aspect that escapes the measurement of body mass index.
Also, in athletes it can cause erroneous data because too much muscle mass may indicate the presence of overweight or obese when in fact it is a low-fat and very healthy organism.
So even take into account the weight in relation to height is always important because overweight can also have an adverse impact beyond metabolic, BMI and weight gain importance if accompanied by other factors. That is, other indicators should also be considered if we get a reliable assessment of our health.
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What other indicators consider?
Given the shortcomings in which we can fall if we look only BMI and weight as indicators of our health, it is always advisable to take into account other parameters, such as:
- Waist circumference: has proven that it is a good predictor of cardiovascular disease, it is easy to measure and correlates well with fat in the abdominal or visceral region is the most harmful to the body.
- Index waist height: since taller people may have wider waists because of their greater physical body, this index that relates height and waist can be useful for assessing cardiovascular risk.
- Body fat percentage: can be estimated by bio-impedance, formulas or skin folds of different body parts and together with the above indicators, we learn about body composition.
- Biochemical data: in addition meet our weight and body composition data as glucose levels, lipids and certain hormones in the blood can be helpful to complete on our health assessment.
- Blood pressure and heart rate: are easy to measure and can give us an idea about our overall cardiovascular fitness. The heart rate can also indicate the presence of stress or vascular disorders, hence the importance of considering these indicators if we know more precisely our physical and general health condition.
Of course, BMI and weight are still parameters to consider, but we can get a much more accurate and complete assessment if in addition to these indicators, we consider other aspects of our health such as body composition and metabolic or internal functioning of our body.