Is ‘The Rock’ as overweight as a sofa potato? Celeb proof as to why BMI is severely flawed

Is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson fats? You would be forgiven for considering not, however in response to official weight calculators the Hollywood hunk is technically overweight.

However the wrestler-cum-actor, famed for his chiseled physique, is not the one celebrity wrongly labeled by the Physique Mass Index (BMI) system.

Fellow Quick and Livid actor Vin Diesel can be thought of too flabby, with a BMI of 30 — one shy of Dwayne.

In the meantime, The Terminator himself, the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, sat dangerously near the morbidly overweight threshold on the peak of his bodily health within the Nineteen Eighties, with a whopping BMI of 33.

Specialists say the movie star examples are proof that it’s time to lastly ditch the hated go-to measurement, which is crudely calculated by dividing your weight by peak.

Calls got here to a head yesterday, as researchers mentioned BMI needs to be changed with the lesser-known waist-to-hip ratio as a result of it higher predicts whether or not somebody will die younger.

Devised by a Belgian mathematician within the 1830s, medical doctors have now relied on BMI for nearly two centuries.

It is used to categorize individuals as underweight (with a rating under 18.5), wholesome (18.5 to 24.9), chubby (25 to 29.9) or overweight (30 or extra).

Nevertheless it has one main flaw, critics insist.

BMI is incapable of differentiating between fats distribution and muscle mass.

Realistically, it means a rugby participant and cough potato of the very same peak and weight would share scores — even when the previous has a ripped physique and the opposite carries a spare tire.

Hollywood hunk or hulk? Muscular celebrities like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Vin Diesel and Arnold Schwarzenegger are thought of overweight underneath the Physique Mass Index system which is broadly utilized by well being authorities around the globe. Some scientists at the moment are arguing it needs to be changed. Figures for Mr Schwarzenegger are from his ‘peak’ of him as a bodybuilder

Waist-to-hip ratio is one of the contenders touted to replace BMI.  It is calculated by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips.  Women with a ratio of 0.85 or more and men with a score of 0.9 or greater are deemed to have high risk levels of visceral fat

Waist-to-hip ratio is likely one of the contenders touted to switch BMI. It’s calculated by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips. Ladies with a ratio of 0.85 or extra and males with a rating of 0.9 or better are deemed to have excessive danger ranges of visceral fats

Dr Arya Sharma, an weight problems knowledgeable on the College of Alberta in Canada, informed MailOnline the examples present how BMI measures how giant somebody is, not how overweight.

‘BMI is a measure of dimension, not well being,’ he mentioned.

‘Weight problems is a medical prognosis that needs to be based mostly on the presence of well being impairments ensuing from extra physique fats — it’s not recognized just by stepping on a scale.’

Ifran Khan, a medical pupil based mostly at College Faculty Cork who penned the most recent paper calling for BMI to be ditched, mentioned: ‘It does not reliably predict danger of illness or mortality.’

Judging WHR may help individuals work out if they’re carrying extra weight round their center, Mr Khan and fellow consultants mentioned.

Research have repeatedly proven this spare tire, as it’s colloquially recognized, can drive up the chance of sort 2 diabetes and coronary heart illness.

Learn how to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio

The waist-to-hip ratio is a measure indicating wholesome ranges of physique fats.

Use a tape measure to find out the circumference at your waist — the smallest width of your pure waist, normally simply above the stomach button.

Then do the identical in your hips — the widest a part of your buttocks.

Divide the waist measurement by the hips determine to find out the ratio.

The worth of the rating differs for women and men.

For girls, a low danger rating is 0.8 or under, whereas reasonable danger is 0.81 to 0.85 and 0.85 or greater.

In males it’s 0.95 or under, 0.96 to 1 or 1 or greater.

The ratio is the circumference of your waist — normally simply above your stomach button — divided by that of your hips, or the widest a part of your buttocks.

Ladies with a ratio above 0.85 and males 0.9 are thought of to be at greater danger of the knock-on results of weight problems.

Mr Khan mentioned the movie star examples demonstrated the failings behind BMI.

‘It precisely captures the primary level of the research: no matter your BMI, WHR stays constant in its energy of predicting loss of life,’ he mentioned.

‘As seen by the images, even when they’ve an “overweight” BMI, that does not essentially imply they’ve elevated danger for illness or mortality.’

Mr Khan and colleagues introduced a research arguing why we must always stop utilizing the BMI scale on the annual assembly of the European Affiliation for the Research of Diabetes in Stockholm.

Their research tracked the well being information of greater than 50,000 adults who had died.

The consultants measured how probably an individual was to die early based mostly on their BMI, WHR or fats mass index, which, just like BMI, accounts for the quantity of fats somebody has in comparison with their peak.

Outcomes confirmed having the next WHR elevated the chance of loss of life linearly.

This meant the chance of an early loss of life was lowest for these with the smallest waist-to-hip proportion, earlier than steadily growing because the determine rose.

For comparability, these with both a particularly excessive or low BMI or FMI had the next danger of loss of life, in comparison with these within the center.


B.Physique mass index (BMI) is a measure of physique fats based mostly in your weight in relation to your peak.


  • BMI = (weight in kilos / (peak in inches x peak in inches)) x 703


  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (peak in meters x peak in meters))


  • Beneath 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Wholesome
  • 25 – 29.9: chubby
  • 30 – 39.9: overweight
  • 40+: Morbidly overweight

This, the authors claimed, implies that WHR was the higher predicator of early loss of life of any sort than the opposite sorts of weight problems measurement.

Mr Khan mentioned: ‘BMI’s main limitation is that it does not have in mind variations in fats distribution.

‘This might imply that somebody who has accrued fats round their waist can have the identical BMI as somebody of the identical age and peak who shops their fats across the hips, regardless of the well being dangers of stomach fats.

‘WHR, nonetheless, higher displays ranges of stomach fats, together with visceral fats, which wraps across the organs deep contained in the physique.

‘With WHR the message is just [that] the decrease the WHR, the decrease your mortality danger.’

He added: ‘Medical suggestions and interventions ought to prioritize setting wholesome WHR targets fairly than basic BMI targets.

‘A extra correct measure of a wholesome physique form might make a major distinction to the unwell well being and deaths brought on by sort 2 diabetes, coronary heart illness, some cancers and quite a few different circumstances.’

Criticism of BMI’s inaccuracy just isn’t new, nonetheless.

Even the NHS itself warns about its flaws, together with the muscle vs. fats problem.

It additionally says it should not be used for pregnant ladies because of the inevitable weight achieve as a child develops within the womb.

BMI additionally does not choose up some weight problems dangers from differing ethnic backgrounds.

For examples research have proven individuals from a South Asian background have a better genetic danger of sort 2 diabetes if they’ve a BMI over 23, which is taken into account a wholesome rating for different teams.

Nevertheless, some argue that BMI is essentially the most helpful indicator we’ve for weight and well being for the final inhabitants.

And others have argued utilizing WHR has its personal issues.

Responding to the newest research, Professor Nick Finer, a guide based mostly at College Faculty London, mentioned: ‘It’s effectively established that BMI is an imperfect measure.’

I’ve added, nonetheless, that ‘there’s a downside about counting on the waist-hip ratio as a measure of weight problems severity’.

That is ‘as a result of it modifications little with modest weight reduction and so doesn’t essentially mirror well being enhancements’.

More than 42million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040, according to new projections by Cancer Research UK

Greater than 42million adults within the UK shall be chubby or overweight by 2040, in response to projections by Most cancers Analysis UK

It comes after the Nationwide Institute for Well being and Care Excellence mentioned in April that folks ought to guarantee their waist measurement is lower than half their peak to maintain well being issues at bay.

Adults with a physique mass index (BMI) underneath 35 ought to measure their very own waist-to-height ratio as a part of wider plans to sort out weight problems, it mentioned.

Extra body weight is taken into account certainly one of Britain’s largest and ever-expanding well being points, with the most recent knowledge displaying 64 per cent of adults are chubby, and extra of us are predicted to develop fatter sooner or later.

Weight problems does not simply broaden British waistlines however well being care prices, with the NHS spending an estimated £6.1 billion on treating weight-related illness like diabetes, coronary heart illness and a few cancers between 2014 to 2015.

Within the US an estimated 73.6 per cent of adults are thought of both chubby or overweight.

What needs to be finished to sort out the Britain’s ever-burgeoning waistlines is up for debate.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss is claimed to be thought of scrapping a variety of anti-obesity ‘nanny-state’ measures with the supposed purpose of serving to the cost-of-living disaster.

The transfer prompted a coalition of 70 well being organizations to put in writing to Ms Truss at the moment, expressing their ‘profound concern’ concerning the rumored reversals.


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