1

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Thoughts on Ideal BMI?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Obviously, the BMI calculation is far from perfect. Generally though, where would you guys put the ideal BMI of healthy/active men and women? Just wondering if you guys have any thoughts on this.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 21, 2012
at 12:22 AM

all you need for body fat is a bioelectrical impedance device. Is it perfect? No -- but it is FAR better at estimating body fat than a BMI

4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 20, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Every person has their own idea of what ideal is and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am not suggesting everyone try to lose weight to get into my ideal weight range, I am just stating what I think is most attractive. Some guys are into tall girls while others are into short girls. You have no control over how tall you are but you can control your weight.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:24 PM

At BMI 30 I had T2D. At 25 I don't. 165 lb weight and 36" waistline tell me the same story but BMI is simpler.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:20 PM

Because all you need for BMI is a scale CD. For accurate bodyfat you need someone running the test that knows what they're doing. If you want a more accurate and useful measurement at home, waistline.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Doesn't happen for most people CD. If you're a bodybuilder BMI does have some use as a ripped index. If you can get BMI up to 30 at 12% bodyfat you'd be ripped.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Agreed. I wish I was a rugby player. I would look better in my rugby shirts.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

Insurance companies don't agree. BMI screws body builders, but they're trying to protect themselves from fat slobs. And fat slobs outnumber bodybuilders 100:1. Simple test, simple actuarial risk.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Well there are all the blood tests too. And waistline. And just looking in the mirror. There is no one number that says you're healthy. BMI is particularly useful for fat couch potatoes; better than scale weight by itself because it takes in height.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 12:59 PM

Jeez it's just an indexing tool, not a precision instrument for body builders. If you're fat the ideal BMI is "lower".

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Thank you, Renee. As a younger woman, I was a size 0. Then my hips and breasts grew. The pants I wore then literally do not even come out to my pelvic bones now. It is just not possible. I'm also much more attractive now than I was then. Youth and weight are far from the only factors in beauty.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:13 PM

147 pounds does not look good? I'm not British but come to Atlanta and I will show you an ADORABLE 147 pounder. Do speak for yourself about what looks good and what doesn't - it's very subjective.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Why not just measure body fat? That solves both problems.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:14 PM

This strict view of what's "ideal" is why eating disorders exist. Most women simply do not have the frame to be a 0 or 2. And what does "ideal" even mean? Like, it's what you're used to seeing in the media so it's what turns you on? Incidentally, I'm a size 0 and 17% body fat, but your comment still offends me.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Why not? Because I just explained it to you, and you still don't get it. BMI isn't something for fit people to worry about. It's a perfectly fine measurement for average individuals. Average individuals co-opt your argument to remain fat.

F694fc245d03b64d6936ddb29f4c9306

(2613)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Agree. How can anyone expect to describe health through a single number, especially one that doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat? Preposterous. If we're going to use a single measurement, it should at least be something useful like body fat percentage.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:47 PM

ok, but what if you had a BMI of 25 (obese) and a body fat of 12%. You used a linear scale for both (which assumes they are coordinate) I would argue that they are often discordant wrt to the measure of correlation, Cardiovascular disease risk.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:45 PM

because at 5'9", 167 lbs and 10% body fat I am three tenths below the "Overweight" range. BMI would be important if it were difficult or impossible to come up with another process -- it is cheap and easy. But basic body fat and skin resistance tests exist and are cheap (some might argue cheaper). Body fat also has a much stronger correlation to cardiovascular disease risk. Why not use the actual measure that the BMI is trying to assess if it's easier?

B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:30 PM

It's a crap measurement....bodyfat is much more telling.

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9 Answers

4
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 18, 2012
at 04:32 PM

My thought is that it's a calculation that isn't worth terribly much. As such, I do not believe that there is a BMI number that can be cited as "ideal."

Just my opinion, of course.

thoughts-on-ideal-bmi?

http://paleozonenutrition.com/2012/04/25/what-does-your-body-look-like-on-the-inside-more-reasons-to-lift-weights/

F694fc245d03b64d6936ddb29f4c9306

(2613)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Agree. How can anyone expect to describe health through a single number, especially one that doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat? Preposterous. If we're going to use a single measurement, it should at least be something useful like body fat percentage.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Well there are all the blood tests too. And waistline. And just looking in the mirror. There is no one number that says you're healthy. BMI is particularly useful for fat couch potatoes; better than scale weight by itself because it takes in height.

2
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on October 19, 2012
at 09:09 PM

IN the UK just over 8 stone ( 112 pounds) for an average height woman (5 foot 5) is the lowest healthy BMI about 18.5/19 and if she were 10 stone 7 (147 pounds) she would be BMI 24.5 at thh upper end and almost into over weight. Most UK women and men are not fit rugby players or body builders but couch potatoes so the BMI is a pretty good indicator.

The 112 average heighter looks pretty good. 14 pounds on that can look good too if toned. 28 pounds on that is getting to look at bit fat.

Obviously if you are very tall or lift weights etc it can be different but most British women conning themselves that BMI is wrong know perfectly well that 112 - - 126 pounds looks good and up near 147 pounds does not, for average height.

There have been studies showing being 14 pounds over the weight for about 25 BMI is pretty healthy too (it's just you don't look very good naked then).

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:13 PM

147 pounds does not look good? I'm not British but come to Atlanta and I will show you an ADORABLE 147 pounder. Do speak for yourself about what looks good and what doesn't - it's very subjective.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Agreed. I wish I was a rugby player. I would look better in my rugby shirts.

1
5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on October 19, 2012
at 11:08 PM

BMI is a rough guideline, but some treat it like gospel, and it depends on your goals. Above a BMI of 30 seems to be where my weight starts causing health issues, but beyond that it is a beauty metric.

Having lost over 30 lbs recently and with my BMI just passing below 30 for the first time in ages, I find that I feel really good and healthy. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago when my BMI was officially 30.1 so they dutifully labeled me "obese". Now at 29.8 I am merely "overweight". To reach the top of the "normal" range (BMI = 25) I would need to drop another 35 lbs to get to 174 lbs, a weight that I haven't been since early high school over 30 years ago. I guess I'll always be overweight in some people's eyes - bummer for them.

I have some more weight to lose - 190 lbs is my "target" because that is the weight at which I felt best. But if I can be as active as I want to be and my weight isn't causing health problems and I otherwise feel awesome, why keep chasing a meaningless number?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:24 PM

At BMI 30 I had T2D. At 25 I don't. 165 lb weight and 36" waistline tell me the same story but BMI is simpler.

1
7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Why not the median?

People dump on BMI because it's an irrelevant biomarker for HGH enhanced NFL safeties. The problem with pointing out those limitations is that it provides another rationalization for the rest of the population to remain fat.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Why not? Because I just explained it to you, and you still don't get it. BMI isn't something for fit people to worry about. It's a perfectly fine measurement for average individuals. Average individuals co-opt your argument to remain fat.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:45 PM

because at 5'9", 167 lbs and 10% body fat I am three tenths below the "Overweight" range. BMI would be important if it were difficult or impossible to come up with another process -- it is cheap and easy. But basic body fat and skin resistance tests exist and are cheap (some might argue cheaper). Body fat also has a much stronger correlation to cardiovascular disease risk. Why not use the actual measure that the BMI is trying to assess if it's easier?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 21, 2012
at 12:22 AM

all you need for body fat is a bioelectrical impedance device. Is it perfect? No -- but it is FAR better at estimating body fat than a BMI

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:20 PM

Because all you need for BMI is a scale CD. For accurate bodyfat you need someone running the test that knows what they're doing. If you want a more accurate and useful measurement at home, waistline.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Why not just measure body fat? That solves both problems.

1
A41e6217f488f91dc8a6154a628d06be

on October 18, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I think it's the combination of BMI and body fat percentage that counts. There might not be a perfect BMI, but personally I'm a lot happier with my current BMI of 22 (body fat 16%) than 30 BMI and 28% body fat I was at the start of the year, pre-Primal/Paleo :-)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:47 PM

ok, but what if you had a BMI of 25 (obese) and a body fat of 12%. You used a linear scale for both (which assumes they are coordinate) I would argue that they are often discordant wrt to the measure of correlation, Cardiovascular disease risk.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Doesn't happen for most people CD. If you're a bodybuilder BMI does have some use as a ripped index. If you can get BMI up to 30 at 12% bodyfat you'd be ripped.

1
1414dfd67708ca13685ff59bc35483f6

on October 18, 2012
at 05:08 PM

Agree with Anonymous Chump. BMI is shit. Best to just pretend it doesn't exist and if people bring it up as something to take seriously, politely tell them how ignorant they are and then change the subject.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

Insurance companies don't agree. BMI screws body builders, but they're trying to protect themselves from fat slobs. And fat slobs outnumber bodybuilders 100:1. Simple test, simple actuarial risk.

0
489d6842b84b920fabcb9eeb83783c91

on October 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

i'm not a big fan of the bmi. that said, if you like to play around with standardized models for fun, i recommend that you play around with the following (US Navy BF Calc):

http://fitness.bizcalcs.com/Calculator.asp?Calc=Body-Fat-Navy

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:42 PM

I like Keith's argument -- http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_05_09.html

-3
4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 18, 2012
at 06:58 PM

I think that the ideal BMI for women is 18 to 21 with a dress size of 0 or 2. If a girl doesn???t do weight lifting then her MBI should be below 20. For guys I think the ideal BMI is 24 to 26 and the guy should be lean and muscular with body fat % below 10%.

4430c600b097f03d9936f0ae8b6b0201

on October 20, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Every person has their own idea of what ideal is and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am not suggesting everyone try to lose weight to get into my ideal weight range, I am just stating what I think is most attractive. Some guys are into tall girls while others are into short girls. You have no control over how tall you are but you can control your weight.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:14 PM

This strict view of what's "ideal" is why eating disorders exist. Most women simply do not have the frame to be a 0 or 2. And what does "ideal" even mean? Like, it's what you're used to seeing in the media so it's what turns you on? Incidentally, I'm a size 0 and 17% body fat, but your comment still offends me.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Thank you, Renee. As a younger woman, I was a size 0. Then my hips and breasts grew. The pants I wore then literally do not even come out to my pelvic bones now. It is just not possible. I'm also much more attractive now than I was then. Youth and weight are far from the only factors in beauty.

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