Body Mass Index (BMI) has been used as a measurement to determine healthy weight within the population since the 1830s when Belgian Adolphe Quetelet invented the formula. It is devised by using weight in kilograms and dividing that number by height in meters squared, with a healthy/normal BMI determined as between 18.5 and 24.99.

Is BMI a proper indicator of healthy weight though? Firstly, the formula does not differentiate between weight that is fat and weight that is lean muscle tissue. A concerning discrepancy. While the aim of the formula had good intentions, it is not necessarily an accurate determinant of healthy mass as people in good physical shape have been found to be outside that BMI. In addition, some who have been found to be in the healthy BMI range were not in good physical shape.

No disrespect to Quetelet intended, as he did not have access anything even as simple as a calculator back in the 1830s. Now, however, we have access to better technology and calculations that have indicated that the height measurement of BMI divides the weight by too much for shorter people and too little for taller people. As a result of this, BMI indicates to shorter people that they are thinner than they truly are, while taller people seem to be heavier than they actually are.

With muscle weighing about 18 percent more than fat, someone who converted 20 percent of their fat to muscle would not see a significant change in their BMI even though they had greatly increased their fitness.

So instead of using BMI, track your health by your muscle to fat ratio through bioelectrical impedance analysis (which is available at most health clubs), waist circumference, your own personal risk factors including blood pressure, bone density and cardiovascular health. Get regular exercise and eat nutritious, well balanced meals and see your doctor to review your overall health.