Height and Weight Charts Are Obsolete

One of the most common methods of determining your so-called "ideal weight" is the height and weight chart. These charts, often used by insurance companies, physicians, sports teams and the military, tell you how much you should weigh based on your height alone. Although these charts are still popular, they're very misleading, especially to athletes and bodybuilders who carry more muscle than most people.

A 5 foot 8 inch male bodybuilder weighing 200 pounds would be grossly overweight according to a height-weight chart. However, such an athlete could have a body fat level well into the single digits with visible "six-pack" abs. On the other hand, people with "normal" body weights could easily be classified as obese when you take into account their body fat level. For example, a 105-pound woman could have 33% body fat. A 172-pound man could be 27%. Both have "acceptable" bodyweights according to the charts, but their body fat levels put them in the "obese" category. These people, who have with low body weights, but a high fat to muscle ratio are what I call "skinny fat people."

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