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Health indicators that are more accurate than BMI

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a simple metric that aims to provide a sense of your health by using your weight relative to your height. It has been traditionally used to categorize people into underweight (< 18.5), normal (18.5 - 24.9), overweight (25.0 - 29.9), and obese (> 30.0) categories. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. However, assessing health using BMI as the only metric has several limitations. It doesn't properly account for muscle mass (muscular people may be incorrectly categorized as obese, while people who are skinny fat may be categorized as being in the normal healthy range etc.), or even cardiovascular strength, which are often much better indicators of healthy and long life and even the quality of life. Thankfully, there are some much better indicators of overall health, like how fast you can walk, how many push-ups and pull-ups you can do, your grip strength etc. With these other indicators, the best part is that they are relatively easy to measure progress, so if you can do two continuous push-ups now, you are in slightly better health if you can do five. Other indicators are measurement related, like your waist circumference, to show the accumulation of belly fat. Presence of belly fat is a huge indicator of your likelihood of getting life threatening diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The more belly fat you lose the better your overall health is going to be.

From now on, let's opt not to judge our health by reductive indicators like BMI and instead opt for indicators of performance based overall health like the ability to walk fast, perform pull-ups and push-ups, grip strength. And if you have to measure anything measure your waist circumference.

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