This Brilliant Chart Shows How Women with the Same BMI Can Have *Completely* Different Bodies

Same height, same weight—totally different physiques.

Hair, Face, Smile, People, Eye, Sleeveless shirt, Happy, Facial expression, Style, Youth,
(Image credit: Archives)

Six different women, all 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds with a BMI of 22.8. You'd think they probably look pretty similar, right?

Take a look at the chart of 3-D body scans above, created for by New York-based startup Body Labs, and you'll see that even though these women have the same height and weight, placing them at normal or healthy weight on the BMI scale, their bodies look nothing alike.

That's because the way that body mass is distributed over the body, and the makeup of that body mass (whether it's fat or muscle), can change from person to person. If you compare the women's torso shapes on the chart, you'll see how drastic those distinctions can be.

Shoulder, Standing, Joint, Waist, Muscle, Trunk, Back, Chest, Barechested, Hip,

(Image credit: Archives)

This chart, and one similar to it published recently by The New York Times, challenges the notion that BMI is an accurate measure of an individual's health and fitness, as anyone who's ever strength-trained and gained muscle weight already knows.

"You can be an athlete in great shape and be deemed overweight or even obese," says Jonathan Schwartz, the director of products at Body Labs. "Or you could have an average BMI but carry a significantly higher amount of mass in your torso, which as some studies show can be a predictor of health risks such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes."

It's a good reminder to not rely solely on BMI when it comes to gauging your health. There's more to it than just a few numbers.


Helin Jung is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She was formerly the executive lifestyle editor of