Thursday, January 26, 2017

Is There an Ideal BMI for Performance

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an almost two hundred year old concept that roughly establishes a ratio between a person’s height and body weight. Historically considered an important health marker, current research raises questions about the efficacy of BMI as a health marker- most famously when pro boxing superstar Evander Holyfield was found to be technically “obese” according to BMI metrics. Most glaringly BMI focuses solely on scale weight, neglecting body composition- the amount of muscle vs. fat present in a body.

BMI by itself may not be a great predictor of health, but that’s not to say it’s altogether useless, it simply needs to be examined in relation to other metrics.  This article is not going to discuss the pros or cons of using BMI as a proxy for Body Fat percentage or health status. Instead, we’re interested in looking at how BMI relates to performance. Since BMI is just a ratio between weight and height for any given height, a higher BMI means a higher weight. Since we can’t do much to change our height, the practical variable of interest for us is weight.

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"Is There an Ideal BMI for Performance?" by Beyond the Whiteboard

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