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BODY MASS INDEX (BMI): SHOULD YOU BELIEVE YOUR SCORE


If you train hard and play sports, your BMI (your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters) may not be the best indicator of whether or not you are at a healthy body weight, according to a recent report in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Performance Training Journal.

Most athletes break the BMI test’s grading scale since they carry more muscle mass than the average inactive person. BMI testing doesn’t differentiate between fat and fat-free mass, which can misclassify you. It’s why almost the entire NFL is considered severely obese, with the rest of the league’s players falling in the overweight category, according to a 2005 study by University of Connecticut researchers. However, save for offensive linemen, the scientists later found that the majority of players actually had a healthy amount of fat on their frames.

Want a more accurate test to analyze your health? Check your waist circumference, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grab a tape measure and tally your waistline by placing the tape directly below your belly button. Then, use the chart below to determine your risk for such ailments as heart disease and diabetes.

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