Public health authorities are always keen to telling everybody what the ideal weight is, and most rely on Body Mass Index in order to determine this. But we often ignore the most major factor while checking this: How can one achieve the ideal weight without knowing the ‘body shape’ at different weight stages?!

Weight is measured using Body Mass Index. Here is the formula for this:


Body Mass Index: In Case Of Adults

BMI 18.5 or less – extremely weak/underweight/malnourished
BMI 18.5 – 25 BMI – Ideal/healthy
BMI 25 – 30: Fat/obese/overweight

However, Body Mass Index is not enough to determine ideal weight because it does not consider the shape of the body as a factor when calculating weight. Logically, to find out the volume of a box, we would analyse it with the cube length of its side. Similarly, if human bodies are analysed in this manner, the index must divide the weight of the person with their cube height. Rohrer Index finds out weight in such a way and was introduced by doctor Rohrer in 1921. The only flaw in this index is that people are not all the same and the formula cannot be accurately applied to everyone.

When people grow, their legs get longer, whereas those who are short have smaller legs. Think of it like this: a person who is 190 cm tall cannot be compared to a person who is 150 cm. Mostly, the BMI of taller people is less as their volume is less when analysed on the basis of their height.

Body Mass Index

Here is another example: An active and working out woman with 70 kg weight and 170 cm height has around 10% total body fat. She is thin and her body volume is at least 65 litres. Let’s compare her with her sister, who doesn’t go to the gym and has the same height and weight but with 40% body fat. It can be noticed that the BMI of both sisters is 24.2, but the one that is inactive has a body volume of 69 litres and her fat takes more space.

Several people have the same BMI, with some looking slim while others looking fatter. In order to counter this, there are several researchers who have developed different indexes to measure weight. There is one that can even predict the cause of your death by the circumference of your waist!

Most people avoid using measurements to determine weight because it is tough method that takes time and effort, and may not be accurate according to the way it is performed. Ideally, as the Surface-Based Body Shape Index asks a person to measure themselves by keeping the beginning end of the measuring tape at their groin, draping it over their shoulders and bringing it down to their buttocks. It is a weird as well as a difficult measurement style, so most would rather just stand on a weighing scale.

Indeed, while we have established that the Body Mass Index is not a great way to determine the ideal weight and overall health, we also admit that there aren’t a lot of easy alternatives. Researchers need to launch Indexes that include weight, height and body shape altogether in order to provide a better idea of health, and to tell people exactly which aspect of their bodies they need to work on.