The first of the year means talking about the inevitable — weight. And more specifically, weight gain. Sometimes, it’s just so hard to be body positive in the face of everything that’s thrown at us day in and day out, especially when the talk turns to body image and body fat. However, there might be some good news when it comes to that pesky Body Mass Index (BMI), the unofficial worldwide measurement for obesity. News suggests that the BMI might just be plain wrong.
According to The Daily Mail, a study out of the University of West Virginia has monitored 11,000 participants for over eight years to see if a BMI measurement is the most accurate gauge of body fat. BMI numbers are gleaned by taking a person’s weight and dividing it by their height. But, as you probably are protesting in your head right this second, not everyone’s bodies are the same.
What they discovered is that two people with the same BMI could have completely different body shapes, making the readings less credible. Adding to the theory that BMI might be heavily flawed is that it only takes two measurements, when humans consist of so much more. So science came up with a new index — the Surface-Based Body Shape Index (SBSI), which measures four points on the body. Those points are the body surface, the trunk circumference (from shoulder to groin and back again), height and weight to produce a more accurate reading.
So what’s this all mean? The bottom line is that this kind of new testing can account for things like just naturally having more curves. It might be that you just genetically have a little more muscle around your thighs and legs, and that’s okay. What’s really important is knowing that carrying weight around your midsection is still a pretty good indicator that you need to eat better or get more exercise.
Tweet us how you get in shape @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)