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Bodybuilding champion branded ‘high BMI’ by NHS nurse talks about why your scales lie

Superfit bodybuilder Anita Albrecht has told today’s Metro about how she was told to go on a 1,000 calorie a day diet after being branded overweight by an NHS nurse based only on her BMI. Healthista caught up with her to find out how the scales can lie

During a routine appointment, Anita Albrecht, a bodybuilding champion and personal trainer was told by the NHS that she needed to lose weight because her body mass index (BMI) came out at 29, which is four points over the ‘healthy’ range and one short of obese.

Yet a number of high-profile trainers – Anita included – are now speaking out about the inefficiency of BMI or scales in measuring how in or out of shape we are. Especially as muscle weighs more than fat, yet fat takes up more space.

Albrecht was advised to go on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, exercise more and cut alcohol and fruit juice from her diet.

She told the Metro: ‘The information the nurse has given me is actually dangerous. A 1,000 calorie-a-day diet is only for people who are severely obese who are not active.

‘She put me on the scales and clearly I’m a lot heavier than other women because of my height and I’m a bodybuilder. For nine months of the year I don’t even drink as I am a competitive athlete.’

‘I felt insulted, was made to feel as though I was overweight, over eating and I felt a knock in my confidence.’

Healthista TV caught up with Albrecht at Body Power ’13 for the video above, where she told us how in 2003 she was inspired to change her life using a 12 week Body for Life challenge after finding out her husband cheated on her.

She went from a tight dress size 12 to a comfortable size eight in 12 weeks, and was inspired as a result to become a personal trainer so she could help others achieve the same.

Anita (middle) during a body building comp. Picture:

Anita says the scales can lie, arguing that body composition is more important than weight as the fact that muscle weighs more than fat is not taken into account when calculating BMI, so it doesn’t always accurately represent a person’s health.

Don’t worry if you don’t lose loads of weight on the scales,’ she told Healthista. ‘It’s measurements, body fat levels and most of all how you feel that matters.’

You can follow Anita on Twitter @LittleAnita or visit her website to find out more.

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