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BMI versus Body Composition

BMI versus Body Composition
0 4 February 2014

Multiple ways exist to analyze an individual’s health in relationship to his/her body weight. Two of the most commonly used methods are BMI and body composition.

BMI is an acronym for Body Mass Index. BMI, in simplest terms, is a height to weight ratio. It is determined by the following equation:

BMI =   mass(kg)
               (height (m))2

Resulting BMI values are then compared against a normative table:


BMI Range

Underweight16.0 to <18.5
Normal (healthy weight)18.5 to <25
Overweight25 to <30
Obese Class I (Moderately obese)30 to <35
Obese Class II (Severely obese)35 to <40
Obese Class III (Very severely obese)>40


BMI is a quick calculation, not a measurement, and it only describes if an individual’s total body weight is appropriate for the height without regard for the proper amount of muscle. It is useful in determining obesity trends in populations but has no utility in the management of an individual.

Body Composition is a precise measurement of fat tissue, muscle tissue and bone tissue.  Cenegenics uses DEXA technology, which is currently the gold standard, to determine body composition.  DEXA uses a low dose x-ray to clearly calculate the varying tissue amounts.  The results are reported in terms of a body fat percentage.

Ideal goals for body fat percentage are:

Women ≤ 25% total body fat

Men ≤ 20% total body fat

Interestingly, an individual may possess a “Normal” BMI, yet have a body fat percentage that is unhealthy.  Conversely, an individual may possess a healthy total body fat percentage, yet have an “Obese” BMI because of a robust level of muscle.

If you are interested in your current body composition, please let me know, and I am happy to do a DEXA scan with you.

Posted in Health & Nutrition by Cenegenics Denver