BMI Versus String Test

A Members View…

Apparently, I am overweight?

I attended my annual medical with my company healthcare provider recently and whilst I scored well within a healthy range for my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, my BMI was 25.4

This set me in the overweight category. Despite eating healthy and exercising 4-5 times a week.

Strangely, NHS England and my company healthcare provider choose the rule of the BMI to label me. I had to investigate.

BMI measurements were created by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian astronomer and mathematician back in the 1830’s. Crazy, right? So why are we still using this today?

Let’s look at an example;

  • A person who does no exercise, is 1.83 meters (6 feet) tall and weighs 92kg (14.5 stone) would have a BMI of 27. Overweight.
  • An Olympic athlete, also 1.83 meters (6 feet) tall and weighing MORE at 96kg (15 stone) would have a BMI of 28. Also overweight!

According to the NHS, it’s estimated around one in every four adults and around one in every five children aged 10 to 11 are obese.

It’s considered a serious health problem, as it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.

The BMI test doesn’t measure overall fat or lean muscle either.

The BBC recently suggested that a more accurate measure, other than looking in the mirror, was the string test.

You start by cutting a piece of string to the length of your height.

The next step, is to fold the piece of string in half and wrap it around your middle.

If the two ends of the string struggle to meet, your visceral fat level is too high. Visceral fat is body fat that’s stored within the abdominal cavity, and too much can put you at serious risk of heart disease.

So, I conducted the string test and was delighted to see my waist measurement was a good few centimetres less than half my height. That’ll do me!

My thoughts? I won’t allow a 188 year old measurement define my health. I will eat responsibly, and I will continue with my 4-5 weekly LRG journey building on my strength, fitness and watching my overall body composition change for the better.

I may have wobbly bits that I’ll never get rid of, but life is about balance and I made steps to change mine when I joined LRG 18 months ago and that’s enough for me. So, if NHS England think I’m overweight, I don’t care. My bit of string told me more than a an antiquated measuring system.

Galit Leslie May 2018

Another Members View…

By | 2019-03-20T07:41:38+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Fitness, Lifestyle|