3

votes

Body Mass Index?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 31, 2011 at 6:25 PM

What do you think of the BMI chart and the body weights it recommends? Do you find BMI a reasonable approximation of a good weight for your height?

I used to think it was hogwash because I have broad shoulders and a big frame, but after doing Paleo for 3 months and losing a ton of weight, I have only 10 lbs to go before I'm at a good weight according to the BMI chart. So maybe I thought it was hogwash only because I was so far away from it!

Thoughts, please!

452b4d079e0c39d4ca923e712f64239f

(196)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:45 PM

It blows chunks! According to it, Arnold Schwarzenner in his body-building prime would be considered obese. The BMI chart doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat, so everyone out of "regs" is considered fat.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:53 PM

I think it's more the muscle they dont account for, but yes, I agree.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I do think for most people with low body fat it is way off.

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11 Answers

4
4fc1ff026a568f38d210af7ac0b2a8df

on March 31, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Body Mass Index is a good indication of "general" health for large numbers of people. If we were to look at 100 people who had a BMI of over 30 (the threshold for obesity), the majority of them would actually have a high percentage of body fat. A few (1-3) of them may be people who have higher bone mineral density, lean mass, and very low body fat percentage (for example, a professional body buider).

BMI generally should only be referred to when discussing groups. I NEVER do BMI on clients. It is much more accurate to do skinfolds or under water weighing (which will give you the percentage of lean mass vs. the percentage of fat mass of your body). Many gyms have the ability to at least do skinfolds for you, and much of the time it is free. You can also visit a University (if there is one close to you) Exercise Science department and have Body Composition testing for very low cost or free.

3
7792d8e2ada34662a3226a7d1952940a

on March 31, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I am over weight according to the last nurse who took mine in a county wide health pole. She never looked at me until I asked her, "So you have any laundry to wash?" She looked up and said "huh?" and I repeated and showed her my abs. She blushed, smiled and said never mind. Alone it is crap, used with body fat % it gives another useless number you can claim.

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on March 31, 2011
at 10:12 PM

Bogus Mass Index.

1
219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on April 01, 2011
at 07:31 PM

It is complete garbage. I am 6'2" and weigh 228 pounds. According to that I am obese and I have a 34" waist (not jamming myself into that waist size either-no muffin tops here! lol) and a wear a size 46 jacket. At the end of the day you know whether you are overweight or not. BMI is just something i would use as a very generalized guide because there is no such thing as a "normal" shaped person. By the way, never let anyone hand you one of those electronic BMI calculators that you grab the two handles and hold it for 20 seconds. They are worse than that chart you are referring to. You have to find someone with the calipers to get an accurate body fat percentage. This is not just my opinion but that of my personal trainer and a healthcare professional I am close to.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 31, 2011
at 10:18 PM

I did use the BMI chart to decide on my goal weight. Mostly because the BMI chart was a huge part of why I lost weight (the first time). I can still remember how absolutely APPALLED I was the first time I was called obese. It was at a work health screen and I was mortified. Sure, I was chubby or thick but I wasn't OBESE that was for really FAT people.

Well, I was obese and unhealthy. I'm glad it made me think.

I don't think the BMI chart is right 100% of the time, but I do think it's a good general guide.

I can tell you I was pretty damn happy the first day I weighed in a "NORMAL".

1
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on March 31, 2011
at 06:39 PM

BMI is crap. Considering that they "revised" it so that they could claim more of the nation was "obese", I think that proves its full of bunk.

0
D0578c3826123f66a80b034cd3e78816

(565)

on April 01, 2011
at 03:59 AM

It's hogwash. Waist circumference is the best metric.

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on April 01, 2011
at 03:38 AM

Oh, BMI. Crap measure of health and body fat.

I do use it to set goals for myself, though. I'd like to get up to a BMI of 19-20 or so just for vanity. I've been 'underweight' since I was 3, I'm pretty sure I'm destined to always be on the slimmer side of weight to height. I have a narrow frame with small bones, like my father and sisters.

Eat well, and the mirror is the best guide... I really want to look healthy, not frail.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:30 PM

No. Last I saw it said I should be around than 150 for a "healthy weight". If I were 150, I'd be skin and bones.

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:23 PM

It's a joke.

It classifies me as overweight. I'm lighter and leaner than I ever have been. No BF scale but I'd conservatively put it at 10%.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I do think for most people with low body fat it is way off.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:53 PM

I think it's more the muscle they dont account for, but yes, I agree.

0
9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on March 31, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Last time I went to the Dr, they made me step on the scale that also took body fat %. I was fully dressed with coat and sneakers on. How in the world can that be accurate? When I asked -- "yes it is accurate" really??

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