Football players and BMI | The Body Liberation Guide

Let’s talk about football players and BMI.

When the topic of body mass index, or BMI, comes up, one of the first responses is usually someone pointing out that some very obviously muscular and fit people — like football players — are considered obese* by BMI measurements.

And thus, the argument goes, BMI is a problem because it classifies people who are healthy as unhealthy, so it’s inaccurate. It’s also the source of a lot of what mainstream discomfort exists around BMI.

If you’re fussed about BMI miscategorizing people, you’re right. What you’re wrong about is why.

Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at