Most people get these two confused thinking that they mean the same thing. That couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Using this formula (weight in KG/height in meters2 = BMI) you end up with a number. This number tells us your risk for weight related diseases. It does NOT tell us how much body fat you have, and it does NOT tell us if you workout 6 days per week.
This is your true measurement of how much body fat you have. This one is also the one that can indicate how much exercise you do.
It can only be measured by pinching you at specific points on your body to measure the adipose tissue, by dunking you in a tank of water and measuring how much water you displace, using Bioelectrical impedance (small electric current), or with other cool machines like a BOD POD.
BMI is used to give you a risk score letting you know your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, heart attack, and other weight related diseases. It also classifies types of treatment options.
Body fat % can do this as well, but is used more specifically for athletes and is a whole discussion on its own.
– BMIs 30 and above qualify for bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Lap Band only. No insurance coverage at this time.
– BMIs 35 and above qualify for bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Lap Band. Insurance coverage available, but many times requires that you also have at least 2 diseases associated with excess weight.
– BMIs 40 and above qualify for bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Lap Band. Insurance typically will cover based on BMI alone.