Nearly everyone dreads the moment they’re asked to stand on the scale during their annual checkup. Unless you have the world’s fastest metabolism or most defined muscles, it’s likely you wish you were looking at a different number. But if you really think about it, nailing down the perfect weight isn’t all that easy or even realistic.
The go-to measure to figure out where you fall on the weight spectrum has traditionally been Body Mass Index (BMI), which is basically a height-to-weight ratio. Though it’s a good starting point, more and more evidence is finding the index is flawed. New York City-based Body Labs, which uses advanced technology to analyze human body shape and movement, has a pretty interesting blog post showing six very different body types who all sport the same BMI. As one interesting example, the post pointed out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady falls firmly in the overweight category using this method.
More recently, a study took an in-depth look at the somewhat outdated way of measuring a person’s health. Researchers found many individuals classified as overweight or obese based on BMI were perfectly healthy and as many as 30% of those who fell within normal weight ranges were not really in such great shape. It’s not actually all that surprising. Trying to craft an easy formula that can accurately assess the physical condition of every person is a tall order.