Use The ‘String Method’ Rather Than BMI


I recently came across a theory – that a piece of string may be a better measure of healthy weight compared to the Body Mass Index. For those of you who don’t know, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple formula where you take your weight in kilograms and divide it by your height in metres squared, and then checking the digit against a chart.

In my opinion, the BMI can be a good gauge of whether a person is overweight in some cases only. There are just too many things that can render it inaccurate. Bodybuilders, for example, will have the same BMI as obese people, but their bodily make-up is vastly different.

Furthermore, the BMI doesn’t take peoples’ bone density into account. Yes, I know that some people do take advantage of this to justify being overweight (think Eric Cartman in South Park, who claims to not be fat but big-boned BEEFCAKE XD), but there is a grain of truth to it in some cases.


The ‘String’ method is something I haven’t heard of until recently. Basically how it works is that you simply use a string to measure your waist circumference and height. If your waist is less than half the length of your height, you are likely to not be at a high risk for diabetes and heart disease.

It doesn’t take a budding mathematician to figure out that what this technique is doing is measuring girth size, which is often an indicator of whether someone is overweight or not. This is more accurate than the BMI because in the case of the bodybuilder, it suggests that s/he is not carrying too much fat.

Another reason why some researchers have condemned the BMI is because those were derived in a different day and age. Back in the day when the BMI was starting to be used, a lot of people were smoking, and apparently that meant that people were thinner then. To a certain extent you can say that it makes sense. After all, it is said that smokers can’t taste the fullness and richness of delicious food, and will therefore eat less. I wouldn’t know this firsthand.

Are you overweight? Well, how long is a piece of string?



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