Body Fat vs BMI
Body fat percentage (BFP) can provide a more accurate picture of your health and fitness than weight or BMI (Body Mass Index) alone.
Where BMI falls short
Because a BMI calculation only requires height and weight, it is an inexpensive and easy tool for analyzing large population groups or as an initial screening tool. However, because BMI does consider body type or distinguish fat from muscle and BMI reference ranges are not gender or age-specific, it fails to provide the detail and context needed to determine actual health risks.
Even if two people have the same weight and BMI, their level of body fat may differ significantly. For example, at the same BMI:
- Women tend to have more body fat than men;
- Older people, on average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults;
- Athletes tend to have less body fat than non-athletes because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.
Body fat percentage as a better risk indicator