BMI vs. ideal body weight

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) vs. BMI: Which One Should You Use?

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study comparing the use of Ideal Body Weight (IBW) and Body Mass Index (BMI). The results? Well, you will become more open-minded about your choices and alternatives after reading this article.

For those of you who have been following our blog, by now you know that we encourage our readers to ask questions and find out the truth themselves, rather than following blindly!

Let’s Be Clear on Which is Which

Body Mass Index or (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) is a weight that is believed to be maximally healthful for a person, based chiefly on height but modified by factors such as gender, age, build, and degree of muscular development.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW)

In order to measure IBW, “metrics that adjust weight for height are used as estimates of underweight, overweight, and weight-associated health risks and mortality.” Basically, maintaining your ideal body weight is supposed to improve your health and help you live longer.

According to Manfred James Muller,”Throughout the past century, different IBW algorithms have been developed based on the general idea that height defines weight as a linear function.”

We have pursued an ideal weight formula for about a century. Hundreds of formulas and tables have been created. Today, despite years of debate, experts still do not have a definite answer regarding the “best” weight for a person.

Below is a list of the most popular “ideal weight” formulas:

Ideal Body Weight Formulas

Hello Eating Disorder and Broken Bones!

If I were self-conscious and believed in this method of calculating my health and mortality and actually try to reach my IBW, I would be miserable and unhealthy. I would have to starve myself, overexercise, and ultimately develop some kind of eating disorder. According to the most popular IBW formulas, I should weigh anything between 101.1 lbs – 136.7 lbs or 55 kgs – 63 kgs.

That's It Chocolate Bites

Most of us would simply accept these numbers, start extreme dieting, and exercise the living daylights out of ourselves in order to achieve the lowest figure. We then fail to reach the target. Starving our bodies and succumbing to yo-yo dieting can lead to morbid obesity and put you in a worse position than you were in when you started.

Based on my ethnicity, genes, body type, and age, I feel that a goal weight of 132 lbs -143 lbs (60 kg – 65 kg) is attainable and healthy. Maintaining the lower limit of 101.1 lbs – 131 lbs (55 -59 kg) would be dangerous and could deplete my muscle mass to a point where my bone density would lower. It would put me at risk of osteoporosis, a condition where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. I would also suffer from decreased metabolic rate. My energy levels and mental acuity would also suffer. Continue reading