5 Alternatives To Body Mass Index (BMI)

The body mass index (BMI) determines whether you are a healthy weight for your height. Here's everything you need to know about BMI and weight-loss alternatives.

Body mass index (BMI) is one of the most often used ways for determining a person's body composition and determining whether they are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. The formula for calculating BMI is straightforward, and it can be found in most gyms across the world.

You just divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. This strategy is perfectly acceptable. However, it only considers weight and ignores muscle, sex, age, bone mass, organs, and skin.

Definition of BMI?

It's a common enough inquiry that isn't always addressed correctly. It's just a calculation of the relationship between your height and weight. The greater your BMI, the more overweight you are.
When analyzing a patient's overall health, many doctors and healthcare professionals utilize BMI as a guide. The approach, which has been in use since the 1840s, does, however, have significant flaws.
Are you unsure what to think? Don't be alarmed! BMI is not the only option. In fact, combining one or more of the methods described below will give you a much more accurate estimate of your body fat percentage.

Let's take a brief look at some of the options available to you...

Top 5 BMI Alternatives

1.Body Adiposity Index(BAI)

BAI differs from BMI in that it does not take your weight into account. By calculating your hip circumference by your height, BAI measures your percentage of waistlinebody fat. Despite the lack of evidence from clinical research, it is often assumed that Body Adiposity Index is more accurate than BMI because the generated statistics are approximate.
BAI is effective in environments where scales are not readily available, such as the jungle or desert.

2.Measurement of Waist Circumference

The old-fashioned tape measure is one of the most effective alternatives to BMI. You can get a fair idea of how much abdominal fat you have by measuring your natural waist. Knowing your waist circumference might help you evaluate your risk of developing heart disease and other medical disorders. Women with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more, and males with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more, are considered to be 'at risk,' according to doctors.

3.Hip-to-Waist Ratio

The waist-to-hip ratio is not only an excellent tool to calculate how much extra weight you are carrying, but it can also be used to predict susceptibility to a variety of health issues, such as excessive blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes

How can you figure out your waist-to-hip ratio?

Take a tape measure to your natural waist line and the widest point of your hips. Divide the size of your waist by the circumference of your hips. After that, compare your results to the chart below.

Graph of waist-to-hip ratio findings

The figures in the waist-to-hip chart below are based on the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention's criteria (DGSP).


It should be noted that the World Health Organization defines abdominal obesity as a waist-hip ratio greater than 0.90 for males and greater than 0.85 for females.

4.Weighing by Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic weighing, contrary to popular opinion, is not an ineffective method of determining body fat. The weighing takes done underwater on a chair that is placed on a set of scales that has been zeroed out.
You next sit in the chair, exhale all the breath from your lungs, and submerge your head in the water. Your weight is taken when the scales have stabilized. The resulting value is then run through a series of formulae, yielding a body-fat reading.

5.Body Fat Calculation

Using a special set of calipers is probably the simplest approach to calculate your body fat. The waist, shoulder blade, biceps, and triceps are measured for skin and fat. The resulting millimeter readings are joined together to produce a single value.
The figure is then plotted against a chart that considers the patient's gender, age, and measurement to determine the body-fat % figure. The more body fat you have, the more likely you are to develop obesity-related diseases.

Last Words

While BMI is a typical way to analyze one's body composition, it is not the be-all and end-all of body assessments. As a result, combining BMI with the top five alternatives listed above can provide you with a more accurate assessment of your health and any associated risks.
However, scheduling an appointment with your doctor will provide you with a more trustworthy and thorough picture of your health, weight, body composition, and weight-related risk factors.