Measure fatness or fitness?

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, around two out of three patients who turn up for a medical consultation these days will be overweight or obese.

But apart from the obvious cases, how do you know who fits this classification? More importantly, as the medical implications of obesity become more complicated, how can you tell if this is potentially unhealthy or not?

According to standard medical protocol, anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 kg/m2 is obese and anyone between 24-29.9 kg/m2 is overweight. So where does that place the strength athlete, the elderly (who lose height with age) and those with a mesomorphic body shape?

There have been cases of International rugby players with only 3% body fat being told they have to lose weight because they fit the obese BMI criteria. Somehow we’re meant to gloss over these anomalies, yet other measures that yield such high false positives are usually immediately