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Can we trust BMI to measure obesity?

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Image caption Knowing your weight and height is enough to calculate your body mass index

You’ve been using our fat calculator in your droves, working out your BMI (body mass index) and comparing the result with people in your age group and your part of the UK.

But a few people have been critical. They say using BMI to measure whether they are healthy, overweight or obese is misleading.

So what’s the truth? Can we trust what it tells us?

Is BMI the best measure of obesity?

Firstly, it is a quick and easy way of working out whether you are in the healthy category by using two simple measures – weight and height.

Most doctors say it is the best method they have, it’s pretty accurate, can be measured simply in clinic and is acceptable to patients.

“It works in the vast majority of people, the vast majority of time,” says Prof Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow.

“If two people are the same height and one has a BMI of 25 and the other a BMI of 40, then excess body fat is the reason.”

Measuring BMI is also much more accurate and potentially less embarrassing than measuring someone’s waist circumference, which is also a good guide.

BMI is calculated by dividing an adult’s weight by the square of their height.

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Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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