Research Begins to Question Use of BMI – Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (more commonly known as BMI) has been used by all health professionals and those in health insurance agencies for years to decide whether or not an individual is at an “ideal” weight. According to the index which is calculated by dividing the person’s weight by the square of the person’s height; someone with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is “healthy”, whereas a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is classed as “overweight” and a BMI of 30 or over is categorized as “obese”.

Recently a study was done on 40,420 people and the numbers for BMI just did not correlate exactly with their physical health! This study was published last week in the International Journal of Obesity. Continue reading Research Begins to Question Use of BMI – Body Mass Index

What is a Microbiome: The Garden Within Our Bodies

For every cell in our bodies, there are about 10 “non-human” cells. These are microbial residents of our gut, skin, eyes, and nasal passages and are referred to as the “microbiome” and research of its role in human health has revealed enough surprising discoveries that the National Institute of Health has launched an International Human Microbiome Project.

The human microbiome refers specifically to the community of microorganisms that live in and on the human body and their collective genome, which interacts with our host genes. These microbes are affected by everything in our world that we touch or come in contact with. Bacteria, yeast, molds, dirt, and the types of food we eat all impact this sub-system culture.

Gut bacteria aid digestion by breaking down otherwise indigestible plant fibers into short-chain fatty acids that intestinal cells can access. Recent research suggests that gut bacteria influence many other metabolic functions, so much so that some experts now regard it as a “hidden” organ system, capable of interacting with its host down to the DNA expression. As a result, the microbiome’s role in conditions as varied as irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, depression, and autoimmune disorders is under intense scientific scrutiny. So, how does the microbiome become altered in a way that will affect the host, and how does a host build better microbiota? Continue reading What is a Microbiome: The Garden Within Our Bodies

Healthy Parents Make For Healthy Kids

By Jordan Meyer, Certified Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Multiple studies show a positive correlation between parental body image and diet, and those of their children. One of the main influences of either a healthy—or unhealthy—lifestyle are parents. Children are masters of mimicry, so if parents eat well and make sure exercise is an important part of their lives, their children will most likely follow their example. Continue reading Healthy Parents Make For Healthy Kids

BMI: When to Use It

By Rita Larsen, RD, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor

There’s a bit of controversy surrounding body mass index measures and how they should (or shouldn’t) be used when determining healthy body measurements for an individual. When it comes to me and my clients, here’s what I suggest. Continue reading BMI: When to Use It

Deciphering the Truth About Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI: Measuring Height and WeightBody Mass Index is used commonly while calculating body fat and for fitness level assessments, but what does it really mean? Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measurement that uses an individual’s current height and weight to determine their body fat using a simple equation. This equation is as follows:

BMI=weight(lb) * 703 / height2 (in2)
BMI (metric)=weight(kg) / height2 (m2)

The number resulting from this equation is essentially your body fat percentage. Healthy body fat percentage differs between men and women, below is a chart with each gender’s ranges:

Women’s BMI Chart:

Age Underfat Healthy Range Overweight Obese
20-40yrs Under 21% 21-33% 33-39% Over 39%
41-60yrs Under 23% 23-35% 35-40% Over 40%
61-79yrs Under 24% 24-36% 36-42% Over 42%

Men’s BMI Chart:

Age Underfat Healthy Range Overweight Obese
20-40yrs Under 8% 8-19% 19-25% Over 25%
41-60yrs Under 11% 11-22% 22-27% Over 27%
61-79yrs Under 13% 13-25% 25-30% Over 30%

Keep in mind, each individual requires body fat, and it is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If one were to drop into the “underfat” category it could interfere with normal bodily functions. Healthy and unhealthy ranges also change depending on age because individuals deposit more body fat as they grow older.

Even though the BMI calculation is fast and easy to use, it can be incorrect in certain situations. For example, if you lift weights on a regular basis, muscle weighs more than fat and therefore will cause you to be heavier. Therefore, when calculating your BMI, it is the muscle and not the fat in your body that causes you to weigh more.

Fat Calipers-Skin Fold Test

BMI is a fast and easy equation for giving a rough body/fat percentage estimate, but there are other more accurate ways of measuring body fat. One of which is the “skinfold test” offered during your initial fitness assessment through the Elite Sports Clubs’ fitness centers. Contact the fitness center to make an appointment for your own polar body age and body/fat assessment.