The Body Mass Index chart (see below) is widely used because it’s easy to use. It does not measure body fat. It simply places someone on a chart based on height and weight. It is used by the CDC, the World Health Organization, the NIH, and many others, including the medical underwriters at insurance companies. We recognize that there are other ratios gaining popularity, such as the the Hip to Waist Ratio, but we too primarily use BMI for its simplicity and because so many others do.
While we encourage initial weight-loss goal establishment based on the BMI chart, we consider a waist to height comparison the best, focusing on waist measurement and considering hip size. Start with the chart and end with the visual. What is the waist size, and is it slimming?
Tall people are not just scaled up short people and vice-versa and muscle weighs more than fat, etc. Our recommendation is, “Get to your ideal weight as shown on the BMI chart or a flat stomach, whichever comes first.” We always make common sense adjustments, particularly with clients and patients such as: athletes, children, the elderly, and the infirm.
Overweight and Obese are not pejorative words, they are medical terms; however, there is controversy surrounding their measurement. Anyone seeking optimal health should not use that controversy to avoid aggressive goal setting and a nutritionally balanced, calorie restricted eating plan for weight loss, nor should they use the disagreement to prematurely begin a maintenance program still carrying excess visceral, stomach fat.