BMI vs. Body Fat

Difference Between BMI and Body Fat

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is used to indicate the general body fat content of a person. The BMI of a person is not necessarily used to determine general health in terms of good or bad, or actual amount of body fat content. The fat body, on the other hand, plays an essential role in the maintenance of one’s body. The amount of body fat and its distribution may indicate favorable health effects and possible disadvantages. The content of fat in the body determines whether a person is obese, or of excess weight.

The BMI of a person is measured by dividing body weight by the height of the particular person. In this calculation, the weight of the person is compared to their height. BMI is expressed in terms of percentage. If the figure calculated shows that BMI is less than 5 percent, the person may be considered underweight. Also, if the BMI is over 95 percent, the person may be considered obese. If a person’s BMI falls below a certain level (18), there may be a risk of premature death.

The body fat is an important structural component of the body, for instance, the fat stored in the organs of the body is about 4% of body weight. This fat is an important factor necessary for the functioning of these organs. Low rate of body fat is considered to be unhealthy and can cause serious health problems. Levels of body fat also depend on its type and age. For example, the fat is best accumulated thighs and buttocks of females, while for males it is mostly around the waist area.

Research has shown that women with a waist size of over 30 inches have a higher risk of problems with diabetes and other ailments of the heart. Also, women with a BMI of 25 or less and have less fat content generally are less susceptible to disease.


1. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is measured by dividing body weight by the height of the particular person.

2. The BMI is limited in determining the overall health of a person and  the body fat has a very important role to play in determining the possible health hazards.

3. The BMI of a person should be kept at a certain level, but the level of healthy body fat often depends on a person’s age and gender.



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