High BMI Body Fat:

Is BMI an Indicator of Body Fat?

high bmi body fat

Whether you’re using a bathroom scale or taking a complicated approach like measuring your body mass index, numbers have power over one’s mindset, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Having high BMI body fat can easily put you in panic mode.

But do the numbers reflect an in-depth status of your health?
Keep on reading the rest of this post to find out.

What Having a High BMI with Low Body Fat Means

Body mass index or BMI assesses a person’s weight and height in relation with his body weight. The higher it is, the greater your body fat percentage is. 

But there are instances in which you can have a combination of low body fat high BMI. This is why medical professionals recommend seeking professional advice with their BMI results. 



Here are the possible reasons why you can have a high BMI with low body fat:

You have high muscle mass from working out and doing other physical activities.

One of the limitations of using BMI for body fat analysis is that it doesn’t account for muscle mass. 

This metric cannot distinguish between body fat and muscles. Also, muscles are denser than fat, which can lead to a high BMI result. 

Taller people tend to have high BMI even with low body fat.

According to a study from the University of Oxford, a person’s height can skew one’s BMI numbers.

Since the formula squares a person’s height, it has a tendency to give taller people a higher result despite having low body fat.

Ethnicity affects your BMI result.

Multiple studies show that particular ethnicities have high BMI results without the associated health risks. 

For example, African-Americans have higher BMIs compared to other ethnicities because of their body compositions, even though they have minimal to no health concerns. 

If you have a high BMI (up to 45!) with low body fat, you don’t need to panic!
Better schedule a medical appointment with Dr. Masri for a full set of diagnostic exams to check your overall health condition before plus size plastic surgery. 
high bmi index

I do not use BMI as a sole criterion in determining one's candidacy for surgery.

As all patients have individualized goals and surgical nuances, a high BMI should not prevent one from achieving plastic surgery goals.
Nick Masri MD

Nick Masri MD

Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon