BMI vs % Body fat

Difference Between BMI and Body Fat Percentage

BMI is a simple, quick calculation that gives an assessment based on weight and height (regardless of whether the weight is fat or muscle); Body fat calculation is a more complex assessement based on body fat percentage.  Deciding whether to assess your health with BMI or body fat percentage will depend on your lifestyle.  Here are some considerations. 

What is BMI?

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement for the body based on height and weight. Normally it is used by doctors and nutritionists to indicate if your weight is ideal according to your height, or if you are overweight. Calculate BMI with BMI Calculator For Men and Women (metric) 

Advantages of BMI 

  • Indicates normal, overweight, or obese
  • Indicates if you have a healthy weight according to your height. 
  • Is ideal for the general population
  • Does not require tecnical training 

Disadvantages of BMI 

  • Doesn’t distinguish the kind of mass that compose the body, more specifically, the quantity of fat mass or muscle mass.
  • Not ideal for highly fit individuals and athletes. 
  • Does not indicate where on your body there you may be overweight.   

What is Body Fat Percentage?

Body fat percentage is obtained by measuring the thickness of several skinfolds on different body sites with skinfold calipers and applying a formula.   

Advantages of Body Fat Percentage Testing

  • With proper technique it can give highly accurate results.
  • By testing multiple sites you can determine what parts of the body have more fat. 
  • Many formulas exist according to specific populations, including men/women, adults/children, general population/ athletes, etc. 
  • You can also use the same data to calculate lean body mass. 

Disadvantages of Body Fat Percentage Testing 

  • Supervised technical training is usually required for accurate results 

Athletes and highly fit individuals should use test body fat percentage rather than BMI, as it's more accurate.  Calculations should be taken over time to track changes.

    Body Fat Percentage Calculator 

    If you measure body fat percentage with skinfold caliper, you can access body fat calculators, learn body fat testing tecniques, and create profiles with Anthrometrix body fat software.  


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