Why Your BMI Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

How well do BMI, waist size, and other measurements gauge obesity?

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

You may have heard of BMI -- body mass index. It's based on your height and weight, and it's widely used to say who's obese, who's overweight (but not obese), who's at a normal weight, and who's underweight.

But BMI has some drawbacks. It may not be the best way to size up your shape. And it says nothing at all about your fitness level.

So how useful is BMI really? And what else might you use?

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