It’s All in the Neck

Heyyy! Happy hump day, friends! Having a good week so far? Doin’ pretty peachy here.
For some reason, though, I was a ball of nerves – even after my blood work came out A-OK. After lunch I started feeling better, but I hate that feeling, nonetheless.

After my part time gig at the BIC (love saying that!) I had another client to train before I took Niko for an evening walk.

Dinner was my version of what I imagine Whole Foods hot and cold bar to be.

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I selected spinach,avocado, zucchini, cucumber, homemade lentil sun veggie burger, and vegetarian baked beans.

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And some cole slaw on the side.

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You can see me in the place mat! hehe

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It’s all in the neck

There’s a new study out that says the circumference of one’s neck could be a more accurate measure of obesity than Body Mass Index (BMI.)  BMI, although the standard measure for assessing obesity, has it’s drawbacks.

BMI uses height and weight as its criteria, and we all know that those aren’t the only factors in determining if one is overweight or not. This is especially true in athletes or extremely fit people. According to BMI, they would be overweight for their height, when in reality, their body fat is actually very low. It does however, provide a general number that’s somewhat easy to grasp and is able to be put in a table to MEAN something when determining health.

Although there are other areas of the body that could be measured to assess obesity, measuring the neck would be fairly easy and accurate for someone who is untrained at taking body measurements.

I typically do a 7 point measurement in the initial assessment for my clients who choose to have their measurements taken prior to working out. However, I also just got my Lange body fat caliper and can’t wait to add in body fat % for those who desire to know as well!

What are your thoughts on BMI? It can be useful, but in order to get a more comprehensive and accurate reading, more criteria need to be considered. Fortunately, there are more tools out there than just BMI! :)  

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11 Responses

  1. I see the benefits of an objective obesity measure; however, I find the BMI tool lacking. According to the height/weight ratio BMI I am overweight. Now I may not be a skinny-minnie, but I am by no means overweight. We did a project finding our BMIs in high school and apparently I was supposed to weight 102 pounds – which would be a 20 pound weight loss!! Thank goodness I’m a pretty grounded individual when it comes to health and fitness, because tell the average high school girl she needs to lose 20 pounds and you could have some problems!

  2. I’ve never had a body fat caliper test, but next time I go to my gym, I’ll ask one of the managers to take one.

    Have a great Wednesday! I know it’s one of your busiest days of the week.

  3. I think if you can get an accurate measure of % body fat, that’s probably the best! Mine was just under 18% last time I got measured – I was told this is slightly low but I am 5’7 and 135 lbs which is my ideal weight. So who knows!

  4. i just recently read something about neck measurements! interesting! i believe there are so many types of measurements that all add up to what equals “healthy” 🙂

  5. Wow- I knew waist circumference was important but never heard about the neck! Makes sense though I guess- a thick neck puts you at risk for sleep apnea related to weight, so I guess it could mean even more. I think BMI is a good initial gauge, but shouldn’t be the end all be all since there are so many factors that BMI ignores.

  6. That’s really interesting… My neck is really skinny though and my tummy has too much chub (the visceral, unhealthy fat) so I’m not sure I’d trust that measurement on me. I need to have my BF measured, it’s been awhile.

  7. Wow really interesting. I guess it would be a good way to add in another factor. It probably wouldn’t be perfect for everyone though.

    I think the BMI has it’s place for a general guideline, but there are so many fit athletes who are overweight according to it. I feel like for a lot of guys this is true. Most athletes are considered overweight but are some of the fittest people out there! I wish there was an easier way to test body fat accurately and consistently that was easy to use and accessible for health professionals.

  8. I think that the weight/height form of measurement is handy to have around but not always accurate. My mother is a a mere ~16lbs. heavier than I am and roughly the same height and was informed that she was slightly underweight. My mother happens to have a fantastic body (especially for her age) and is not underweight by any other standards. I would be interested in learning more about the relationship that a person’s neck has to determining their BMI.

    Thank you for the info. 🙂

  9. This was a very interesting blog as were the comments. Thank you all.

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