This Chart Proves That People With The Same BMI Can Look Wildly Different

New York-based startup Body Labs created a chart for Cosmopolitan (below) of six different women's 3D body scans. Look at them. Really study each one.

Are some more attractive than others to you? Do some look healthier?

This may surprise you, but they're all 5-foot-7, weigh 145 pounds, and have a BMI of 22.8. In other words, they're all equally "healthy."

How is that possible? Well, the way that body mass is distributed throughout the body (torso or legs) and the makeup of that body mass (fat or muscle) is an entirely individual phenomenon. No two bodies are exactly alike, even if they've got all the same stats.

This chart challenges the long-held idea that, in order to get in shape, one must lose weight. It's not just about burning calories; it's also about building muscle — which, of course, increases your BMI. So, BMI cannot be the be-all end-all gauge for heath and fitness.

Just because a person's body is thin and conventionally attractive doesn't mean it's necessarily healthy or fit, and on the other hand, you can't assume someone is unhealthy or unfit because he or she doesn't have ripped abs. There's no such thing as the "ideal body."

Graphic via Body Labs


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