As I stated in my previous article the term Body Mass Index or BMI tends to attract a variety of responses from all sorts of people. Even the Medical Profession do not seem able to agree on what it means and how relevant it is.
Before I discuss the relevance it is necessary to calculate the measurement. How do we do this?
Method 1. Go to a reliable clinic where you can test your BMI electronically. In the United Kingdom the bigger branches of Boots the Chemist have comprehensive weighing machine that calculates your height, weight, Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage (BFP) all at the same time. This is the one I use due to ease of access.
Please note that there is one drawback. The machines tend to be placed in full view of the public and it is difficult to get rid of sufficient clothes to give you a completely accurate measurement. (The first time I used it the manageress took exception for some reason just after I took my jacket, jersey, two shirts and vest off ~ it was cold ~ so I had to put them back on.)
At least, if you use the same machine consistently and wear the same clothes each time you will be able to establish roughly the base BMI and BFP and then any changes that occur. For example, in December my BMI 35 and my BFP was over 46%. At the beginning of February, after I had started my new lifestyle eating coupled with my exercise regime it had dropped to 45%
Today - 4th March 2010 - it was98.3kg (216lb/15st 6lb) My BMI was 32.1. However the important bit the Body Fat Percentage was 44.5%. In other words out of my 98.5kg I am carrying 43.7kgs of FAT but my BMI makes it appear as though I am carrying only 31kgs of fat.
Method 2. Is this accurate? To compare I looked at two different BMI Calculators.