Debunking Bmi Myths-Boost Your English And Your Health Ep 680

A photo of a man with a perfect physique and waist line. Curious about BMI and health? Tune into our latest podcast and sharpen your English listening skills!

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 4031 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 21 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 12.7 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

Unlock the Secrets to Healthier Living—All While Learning The English Language!

Tired of snooze-worthy English lessons? Adept English brings you a riveting lesson that does more than just teach you English—it wakes you up to the myths surrounding BMI! Grab the opportunity to tweak your health and your language skills all in ONE shot.

Why You Just Can't Miss This Lesson:

  • 🧠 Unlock the true meaning of BMI and why it's flawed!
  • 🗣 Perfect your British English pronunciation with words like 'height' and 'weight'!
  • 📈 Decode smarter health metrics—because you're more than just a number!
  • 💡Learn new vocabulary that you'll actually use!
  • 🇬🇧 Immerse in British culture and healthcare practices!
  • 🔄 Repeatable lessons for ingrained learning!

✔Lesson transcript:

Just because you're not sick doesn't mean you're healthy.
⭐ Author Unknown

New to English? Dive into our engaging discussions on health and everyday life while naturally learning the #englishlanguage. Ready to question everything you know about BMI and health? Today, we're diving into the buzz-worthy topic of Body Mass Index and why it might just be the overhyped number you need to rethink. No more blindly following the scale! We'll unveil better ways to measure your health, from waist-to-hip ratios to the power of a simple tape measure.

But wait, this isn't just a wellness deep-dive—it's an English lesson in disguise! Wrapped up in fascinating facts and life-altering information, you'll effortlessly pick up on English nuances and vocabulary. Plus, the quirks of #englishpronunciation? We cover that too! Consider it a two-for-one deal that expands both your mind and your language skills.

It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.
⭐ Mahatma Gandhi

Don't settle for mediocre English lessons! Dive into topics that matter, challenge your intellect, and better your health! Your gateway to impeccable English is one click away. Sit back, Listen, Learn! 🎧 Turn a complex health subject into easy-to-digest English lessons. Subscribe NOW!

More About This Lesson

Are you tired of hearing about BMI as the ultimate health measure? It's time to think again! This lesson not only helps you question BMI but also makes your English skills better. You'll learn both health tips and language lessons from this one podcast. So, why wait? Tune in now!

Your body hears everything your mind says.
⭐ Naomi Judd

Things you will learn fluency to this English fluency lesson:, you will discover:

  1. Vocabulary Reinforcement: Words like "BMI," "obese," "underweight" explained clearly.
  2. Real-World Example: Using NHS information to calculate BMI makes the lesson relatable.
  3. Pronunciation Tips: Discusses the challenge in pronouncing "weight" and "height."
  4. Cultural Context: Mention of NHS gives insight into British healthcare system.
  5. Medical Terminology: Words like "triglycerides," "cholesterol" are valuable for medical context.
  6. Spelling Drills: Spelling out challenging words aids in written English skills.
  7. Sentence Structure: Using varied structures to keep listeners engaged.
  8. Alternate Measures: Introduction to Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) and its importance.
  9. Self-Check: Advising learners to listen to their bodies for stress signals.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

Tune in and not only decode the quirks of English pronunciation but also unravel the flaws in the one-size-fits-all BMI approach. Whether you're aiming to fine-tune your English or just intrigued about alternative ways to measure your health, this is one podcast you can't afford to miss.

  • Learn English in Context: Get better at English by learning about a subject that affects everyone—health.
  • Two-in-One Deal: Not just an English lesson, it's a health lesson too!
  • Repeat and Remember: The podcast is there for you to listen to as many times as you want, helping you remember better.
  • Beyond BMI: Learn why this old number may not be the best health guide.
  • Health Metrics: Uncover better ways to check your health like the waist-to-hip ratio.
  • Real-World Vocabulary: Pick up English words that people really use in daily life.
Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility.
⭐ Louise Hay

Boost Your English Fluency: Listen repeatedly to master complex words and phrases, in a fun topic that keeps you engaged.

  1. Stay Relevant: The English words and facts you learn are tied to a real-world subject—health.
  2. Cultural Dose: Soak in British culture through NHS references and British English.
  3. No Boredom: The topic is interesting. You'll want to listen over and over.

Ready for a lesson that changes how you think about health and English? Your future self will thank you. Click play now!

Questions You Might Have...

Think of this Adept English lesson as a refreshing deep dive into a hidden ocean. On the surface, you're navigating the often misunderstood world of BMI and health metrics. But as you go deeper, you unearth treasures of British English and vocal quirks. It's an underwater journey that enriches your language skills as it debunks health myths. All you need is your ears—listen, absorb, and emerge wiser in both health and English. Like a submarine of knowledge, Adept English takes you there.

  1. What is the main focus of this Adept English podcast? You'll delve into why BMI, or Body Mass Index, may not be the most reliable measure of your health. You'll discover better alternatives, all while polishing your English listening skills with British culture and vocabulary. Adept English makes learning engaging, so it doesn't feel like a typical lesson!
  2. How does Adept English aim to improve my English fluency through this podcast? The approach is quite simple—just listen. The more you listen, the better you get. The podcast covers a fascinating topic (BMI and health measures) to keep you engaged. By revisiting the podcast multiple times, you'll naturally pick up vocabulary and get a firmer grasp on British English.
  3. Are there any specific British terms or phrases I should pay attention to in this podcast? Indeed! Words like "quid" and phrases such as "pinch an inch" are sprinkled throughout. These are examples of typical British English expressions. Learning them helps you not only understand the language better but also immerse yourself in British culture.
  4. Why does the podcast discuss Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) and other health measures? You'll find that the podcast doesn't just challenge the reliability of BMI; it offers alternatives like WHR, blood pressure, and triglycerides. Learning about these gives you a well-rounded view of health while allowing you to absorb new English terminology relevant to medical and well-being contexts.
  5. How can I further support Adept English and continue learning? You can keep the good times rolling by subscribing to our channel on YouTube or Spotify. Like all of our episodes and give them a thumbs up. Even better, you can buy our courses or share the podcasts on your social media. Your support helps us continue creating great content, and in turn, accelerates your journey to English fluency.

Most Unusual Words:

  • BMI: Stands for Body Mass Index. It's a number that shows if you have a healthy weight for your height.
  • Quirks: Odd or unique traits. For example, a person might have the quirk of whistling while they work.
  • Ethnicities: Groups of people who share the same culture, language, or history. Like people from Japan and people from Italy belong to different ethnicities.
  • Obese: Very overweight in a way that is not healthy.
  • TOFIs: Stands for 'Thin on the Outside and Fat on the Inside'. Describes people who look thin but have unhealthy fat inside their body.
  • Triglycerides: A type of fat found in your blood. High levels can be bad for your heart.
  • Cholesterol: A substance found in your blood. High levels can be harmful to your heart.
  • Glucose: A type of sugar in your blood that gives you energy.
  • Eczema: A skin condition that makes your skin red, itchy, and sometimes scaly.
  • REM Sleep: Stands for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. It's a deep part of your sleep cycle where you often dream.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: Debunking BMI Myths-Boost Your English And Your Health

Your health and your BMI - is this a good measure?

Hi there. Have you ever wondered why your your doctor and other health professionals are focused on BMI, also known as Body Mass Index? You might be surprised to learn that relying too much on BMI as a health measure could be a mistake! Let’s explore this today and let’s explore what other measures might be a better guide to your good health? As ever, an interesting topic that concerns all of us, to listen to while while sharpening your English listening skills and soaking in some British English! Don’t forget - this is an English lesson, it just may not feel like it because the subject matter’s interesting! But it’ll help your English nonetheless, and listen to this podcast a number of times, so that you can learn the vocabulary.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Ways to support Adept English

Don’t forget - if you enjoy Adept English’s free services, like our podcasts, you can still support and help us to continue producing podcasts and courses - by subscribing to our channel on YouTube or Spotify or wherever you listen. You can support us by giving us comments and positive feedback and by ‘liking’ or giving the thumbs up to our episodes. And one of the ways that you can help us most - buying our courses of course, or by sharing our podcasts with other people on Spotify. All of this helps Adept English grow and continue - and it’s motivating for us too! So thank you in advance for doing those things.

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How to calculate your Body Mass Index

So today - BMI. In English again - ‘Body Mass Index’. Basically it’s a measure of your weight, W E I G H T - that is ‘how heavy you are’ and your height, that’s H E I G H T and that one means ‘how tall you are’.‘Weight’ and ‘height’ in English - let’s just pause a minute to appreciate the challenge, the quirks, the inconsistency in English pronunciation here! Why aren’t those two words pronounced in the same way? I don’t know, but they’re not - it’s ‘weight’ and ‘height’. So worth learning in its own right. Anyway, to calculate your BMI, you divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. For example and this is taken from the NHS website (there’s a link in the transcript), if you weigh around 70kg (that’s 11 stone) and your height is 1.73m (say around 5 feet 8 inches tall), then you would work your BMI out like this:

So first of all, you square your height: so 1.73 x 1.73 gives you 2.99 Secondly, you divide 70 (your weight) by 2.99 and that here gives you 23.41. So this is your BMI, displayed to 1 decimal place usually, for 23.4.

Then the NHS website tells you ‘A BMI calculation in the healthy weight range is between 18.5 to 24.9. So 23 or more, you’re at increased risk of health conditions because you’re overweight. And 27.5 or more you’re at high risk of health conditions - or you’re ‘obese’, that’s O B E S E. And anything under 18.5 and you’re considered ‘underweight’ - you don’t weigh enough.


A photograph of a man with an amazing body. What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About BMI: British English Podcast You Can't Miss

©️ Adept English 2023

How did BMI originate?

So this is from the NHS website but this measure is used all over the place. The measure was thought up in 1832 - so it’s quite old - by Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, that’s Q U E T E L E T, if you want to look him up. And he used it to chart the average Western European man’s physical characteristics. 1832? It’s not based on modern science. Straight away one of the problems is - it’s also based on Western European men. What about women, who naturally have greater body fat? What about people of different ethnicities? People of different ethnicities have different healthy BMI measurements. So for Asians, it’s better to have a lower BMI, whereas if your ethnicity is Polynesian, apparently a higher BMI is better for you. So this ‘one-size-fits-all’ health measure, used all over the place doesn’t really work and it’s time to change!

Why BMI is a flawed measure

Another of the reasons that BMI is not a good measure - weighing yourself doesn’t differentiate, doesn’t ‘see a difference’ in other words, between weight that’s down to body fat, FAT - and weight that’s down to ‘muscle’, that’s M U S C L E. So your percentage body fat is a much more important measure. But it’s not just this. It’s the distribution, that’s D I S T R I B U T I O N. The ‘distribution’ of this body fat. ‘Distribution’ in this context means ‘where in your body the fat is located’. Of course, we’re most conscious of the body fat which is ‘just below our skin’ - that’s the stuff we can pinch! We speak in English of being able ‘to pinch an inch’. But actually this fat is one of the least damaging types of body fat distribution. It’s the fat which wraps itself around our major organs that’s much more concerning and you can look thin on the outside but still have this damaging body fat inside and be unaware of it. There’s a phrase we use in English for people like this - we call them TOFIs. That’s TOFI - which stands for ‘Thin on the Outside and Fat on the Inside’. TOFIs might look quite slim, but they can still be suffering from diseases like Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease because they’re ‘fat on the inside’. And there’s another example. One of the most damaging places to accumulate fat is in your liver, that’s L I V E R. You only need an extra pound or so of fat around your liver for it to start badly affecting your health. But of course, this pound of fat isn’t going to show up on the scales - it’s not going to be something that you notice when you weigh yourself. And it’s not something that a BMI measure will pick up.

How a simple tape measure may give a better indication of your health and weight!

Are you curious about better ways to measure your health? What if I told you that a simple tape measure could give more insight than the BMI chart? A ‘tape measure’, T A P E M E A S U R E is like a ruler, but it’s made of soft material, so that you can measure around your body with it. Using a tape measure, you can find out your Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR). It's easy to measure and tells you a lot more about where you're storing body fat. To do this, take the measurement around your waist - that’s W A I S T and it means the circumference of the middle of your body - your thinnest part, in other words. Or at least, it should be your thinnest part, if you have a good shape! You then take another measurement of your hips - that’s HIPS and this means the wider part lower down. And ratio, R A T I O ? Well, that’s a mathematical term - meaning one measure (here waist measurement) divided by another measure (here hip measurement). The idea is that your HIP measurement or round your bottom is wider. So that if you score under 0.8 - that’s good. And over 0.8 - not so good. And over 1.0 - really not good. So it’s well-known that people who accumulate fat around the waist are much worse off health-wise than those people who’re wider round the bottom. Good news for many women, I guess. Healthy women are what we call ‘pear-shaped’ or ‘shaped like the fruit, a pear’, PEAR! There’s a photograph in the link that I’ve attached which illustrates this common difference between unhealthy and unhealthy body shapes.

What other measures of general health are good to use? Cholesterol….

What are other measures are there of your health and likelihood of disease? Well, as I discussed in podcast 605 at the start of the year, although I love the NHS, I found the current NHS way of measuring cholesterol - that’s C H O L E S T E R O L - doesn’t seem to me to be satisfactory. And the NHS advice given about cholesterol also seems out of date and misleading. The standard NHS cholesterol test doesn’t include an important measure, triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood and spelt T R I G L Y C E R I D E S. ‘Triglycerides’ accumulate in your blood when you eat more carbohydrate calories than you use. And triglycerides are specifically damaging to the health of your heart. ‘Triglycerides’ is believed to be a better measure of cholesterol than the ones currently used in many places.

What other measures of general health are good to use? Blood pressure….

Another good measure of your overall health is your blood pressure or BP. This the NHS do measure - but they tell you that anything up to 140 over 90 is OK - especially if that reading is taken in the doctor’s surgery. Actually, there is evidence that keeping your BP much lower than this is better. Many health system measures around the world consider anything above 120 to be elevated, raised - and therefore to be of concern. This seems sensible. And there’s evidence again that lowering your carbohydrate consumption will help your blood pressure. So you may be able to do something about this, without necessarily taking medication.

Fast-Track Your English Fluency 🍽️ Processed Food Edition!

What other measures of general health are good to use? Blood glucose….

The NHS do do blood glucose tests, but as discussed in my previous podcasts on Continuous Glucose Monitoring - that’s 665 and 652, doing a ‘one-off snapshot’ of your blood sugar level in the doctor’s surgery is pretty meaningless, especially if they don’t ask when you last ate! Instead buying and using a CGM is a better check on your blood glucose levels. It gives you much more information about what’s going on.

What other measures of general health are good to use? Heart rate….

Other measures which are important - your heart rate -‘how many beats a minute’ your heart does. This is a measure that these days is fairly easily available. You can get it on your exercise wristband - your MiFit, your Garmin or your Fitbit will tell you this - whatever fitness tracking device you use.

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What other measures of general health are good to use? Learn to assess your stress.…

Another important measure - assessing your stress level. Stress hormones if constantly being released can do you damage, both physically and mentally. Sometimes people know when they’re stressed - sometimes your body will indicate, in its own particular way. If I’m stressed, I get eczema or maybe even a cold-sore. But the other way that I know I’m under stress - it affects my sleep. I’ll notice that if I’m stressed I get less REM or ‘REM’ sleep. Stress can be triggered by all kinds of things. It’s very individual and quite hard to quantify. That measure of our general health is better left to each of us to learn how to monitor ourselves, to learn the signs that our bodies are telling us that we’re under stress. You’ll be doing yourself a big favour health-wise, if you learn that.


Well, I hope this podcast has made you think about your health - and has made you question BMI as a health measure, what’s it good for and what is it less good for. And let us know what you think of this podcast - we really love to hear your comments!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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