Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Is Technically Obese Because Science Is Complicated

The Rock is one of the most physically fit people we’ve ever seen. He’s pure muscle, but he takes care of his body. He eats a healthy diet, and shares his exercise tips with his fans. 

It may surprise most people to know that when Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson goes to the doctor, he might not be super happy with what he sees on the scale. The Rock is technically considered obese because of his BMI

The rock wearing sunglasses smiling at the camera
Dwayne Johnson | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

How does BMI work?

BMI is the ratio of height to weight. In the US, it’s how we determine if someone is at their ideal weight, or if they’re overweight or even obese. It’s got a major flaw. It doesn’t actually calculate how much fat is on your body. 

You can be heavy but with very little body fat, like The Rock. If that’s the case, your weight doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. Likewise, you can have a lot of body fat and still have a normal BMI.

If you have what’s called visceral fat, you’re a lot worse off than if you have love handles. Visceral fat is fat around your organs. It’s associated with a lot of health problems, while a little fat around the waist is less concerning. 

A normal BMI can mean many things

A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. People in that range can have very different body fat levels. One study found that men with a BMI of 25, which is right at the line between normal and overweight, can have body fat percentages ranging between 14 and 35.

That means within one BMI, one person could have twice the fat as another. 

BMI isn’t the only standard to measure obesity. The World Health Organization doesn’t use it. Instead they look at percentage of body fat. Over 25% is considered overweight. Meaning in the above example, some men with the same BMI would be considered overweight based on their body fat percentage, while others would be considered normal, or healthy. 

The Rock has a high BMI

The Rock would definitely be considered healthy based on his body fat percentage. His BMI is 34, which puts him squarely in the ‘obese’ category according to current standards in the US.

Just like BMI, it’s possible that body fat percentage isn’t a perfect indicator of health. The Rock may be healthy, but he does eat a lot. Some estimates put his intake at over 5,000 calories per day. Yes, it’s all healthy food, but still.

He works all of that off in the gym. He really pushes his body, especially if he’s preparing for a role. So far it’s worked for him, but we don’t recommend the average person try it at home. It could be very dangerous for someone not used to that routine. 

Johnson has been pushing his body to its limits for a long time. He started his career as a wrestler in the WWE, which is where his nickname comes from.

Now, he’s branched out into acting. He still pushes his body, especially if has a role that requires him to show off his muscles. He did a lot of extreme dieting to prepare for Hercules in 2013, for example. 

If The Rock is obese despite all the working out and dieting he does, there’s no hope for the rest of us. He really is a good example of why we should be careful when looking at BMI to determine who is healthy and who is not.