BMI, BF %, & WHR

Monday, November 3, 2008
Although I've never been a big fan of the body mass index (BMI), I am finding now at the six week mark that my BMI, body fat % (BF %), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are much better predictors of how much progress I've made than a myoptic weight measurement.   Each year when I work with colleagues in our employee wellness program, I work hard to refocus them on the larger picture rather than just their weight.  However, until you can see measurable progress in one or more of the aforementioned variables, it is hard to convince them otherwise.  Finally, I am seeing movement in these three variables, so I will stop charting my weight publicly and will begin to post improvement in these more important areas.  Since 9/22/08 my BMI has improved from 23.7 to 22.2, my BF% has improved from 26.31% to 25.81%, and my WHR .88 to .87.  Of these measurements, the one that still leaves me in an at risk category is the WHR.  WHR measures the difference between your waist and hip girth.  A WHR of less than .80 is considered to be a good predictor of decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.  While I do not have a genetic predisposition to diabetes or cancer, there is a family history of high blood pressure.  Thus, the more I can do now to move my WHR toward the .80 end of the spectrum the better (>.90 is considered increased risk).