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 What you BMI does NOT tell you...

Maria Noelle Rivera / Dec 20, 2018 / Blog / Comments : 0

Omega Family Surrogates is a Surrogacy agency that Brings Family Moments to Life by generating matches between a Gestational Carrier (also known as a Surrogate) and Intended Parents (IPs).  For a woman to become a Gestational Carrier, she must have a BMI that ranges between 21 and 32.  This number is calculated by relating a woman’s height and weight and producing a number.  Those are the only two factors that BMI takes into account. This measurement appeared in the late 1800s, created by Adolphe Quetelet. In the 1900s it became government’s way to categorize whether or not a person was at an appropriate weight.

An important thing to consider is that just because a person is thin does not mean that a person is healthy.  BMI should be looked upon to identify trends within a population, but NOT as an individual indicator, but for now, due to the simplicity of its calculation, is still widely used.

So . . . BMI is a good place to start, but it is definitely not a know-all-tell-all indicator.

Why isn’t BMI a solid indicator?

  • Women have more fat than men. Biologically, women have 25% body fat, while men only have 15%. Female hormones turn fat into food easily; this is not the case for men. When the BMI reading comes out, it must be understood that women will naturally have a higher BMI than a man with the same height and weight. So, BMI is not a solid indicator because it automatically begins with a disadvantage towards women due to the nature of the female body.

  • BMI does not distinguish between fat and muscle mass.  If a woman works out and has more muscle, this will count towards the fat content. According to The Independent, “A pound of fat takes up a much larger volume on the body than a pound of muscle, even though they of course weigh the same. (Muscle is about 18 per cent more dense than fat.)”  This means that the BMI will not differentiate between muscle mass and fat.  A muscular woman can have a high BMI and be super fit. 

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  • BMI does not distinguish where the body fat is located. This means that two women can have the same BMI, but their fat is distributed differently. When fat is distributed mainly around the organs at mid-body this can create higher health risk than someone who has fat distributed evenly throughout the body. To become a Gestational Carrier, it is better to choose the woman who has the fat distributed evenly throughout the body, than the one who has the fat concentrated around the waist.

What other indicators can you use to measure your overall health?

Due to the different reasons why BMI is not as reliable as once thought, other measurements are used as health indicators. According to The Independent, “This has led many people to argue that a far more important measurement is your hip to waist ratio. According to the World Health Organization, this should be no more than 0.85 for women and 0.9 for men.”  To obtain this ratio, first you measure your waist (x) and your hips (y), then divide x/y.  If the ratio is over 1 then the person is at a higher risk for heart disease or diabetes, but this, just like BMI, is not a know-all-say-all indicator. 

The current trend is to use different indicators together to identify if someone is at a healthy weight or not. Here is a list of the indicators that when interpreted together, provide a better understanding of a person’s overall health, than just by concentrating on BMI.

    • Body fat percentage
    • Waist to hip ratio
    • BAI (body adiposity index, using height and hip measurement)
    • Physical measurements of various body parts
    • Weight
    • Tracked strength or cardiovascular improvements

Alongside these measurements, there are certain things that should be considered such as your digestive patterns. If you get bloated, when does this happen?  How are your energy levels? If they are low, is it because you are not eating enough or because you don’t get enough sleep? It is important to know that these indicators do not indicate any disease or mean that you will get sick, but they do provide you with a parameter that can guide your eating and exercise habits.  

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Knowing this information is important, because it can help you prepare for your Surrogacy Journey.  These indicators can guide you towards the goals that you would like to achieve. A BMI of 32 is the highest BMI that fertility clinics will work with, and therefore is the parameter that Omega Family Surrogates uses to accept Surrogacy candidates.

We invite you to visit our website for more information on becoming a Surrogate, or if you are ready, answer 12 simple questions to see if you qualify.

  At Omega Family Surrogates… taking care of our Surrogates is always a top priority.

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