A Skinny-Fat Person and Body Mass Index

You need to know where you are fat no matter what your Body Mass Index may be. You can be skinny with high body fat (skinny-fat). You may also be normal weight obese. Too much body fat is not good even if you have a good Body Mass Index.


If you don't combine healthy, managed nutrition with consistent weight training and interval cardio exercise, you probably have high body fat even if you are a skinny person (probably due to genetics).

Many people are confused about what Body Mass Index (BMI) means as it relates to body fat.  Keep in mind that it is just one tool to use when you are looking at your health. Scientists use BMI as a research tool to make objective comparisons as to how fat a person is. A person with a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

Body Mass Index uses a person's height and body weight to measure a person's fatness. This method has some limitations because it doesn't consider a person's body type (slim, muscular, etc.).



For example, a fit person with high muscle mass will tend to have a high BMI which suggests that the person is overfat. This person would actually be fit and healthy with low risk for fat-related diseases.

So, even though you might use BMI as a starting point, a person's level of fatness is best measured using a direct method. Two methods used are under-water weighing and skinfold measurements. Under-water weighing is not readily available to most people. Having a skinfold body fat test with calipers done by a fitness professional is convenient and reasonably accurate.

Regular exercise, low body fat and increased muscle mass are all factors that should outweigh any health risks suggested by a higher BMI.

You should be concerned with burning total fat and shrinking your waist size. Doing so will reduce your risk of dying from diseases like cancer and heart disease. Researchers from the American Cancer Society warns us about the deadly risks of having too much belly fat.

What The Research Found:

Eric J. Jacobs, PHD, American Cancer Society strategic director, and his colleagues found that people with very large waists (47 inches or larger in men, 42 inches or larger in women) had approximately twice the risk of death compared to those with the smallest waists (35 inches in men, 30 inches in women) during the study period.

And, this is the interesting part about the study: it didn't matter if the person was normal weight, overweight or obese (according to body mass index).

“We found a pattern showing that expanding waist size was linked to a greater risk of dying regardless of body weight,” said Jacobs. “Similarly, people with the smallest waist sizes had the lowest risk. The take home message here is watch your waist size regardless of your weight.”

Get your body fat percentage checked today!


I will coach you to transform your body and its definitely not just about weight loss.  You will learn what it takes to change your eating habits and lifestyle and start remaking your body a healthy, energized and lean fat-burning machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES

About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.