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Fat, the new normal

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13

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  • Nony_Mouse
    Nony_Mouse Posts: 5,646 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    leggup wrote: »
    NIH has standards for measuring frame size: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/17182.htm However, the majority of weight is stored as fat and soft tissue.. not bone. Bones don't have large weight changes from small to avg frame size. Also--- for my height, 6'0, BMI says I can weigh 137-183 lbs. That's pretty much the same scale as that chart anyway.

    Wrist test: Still silly. In women, big stuff like pelvic width and breast size is going to make a lot more difference than wrists, when it comes to determining a sensible weight.

    And where bones do matter - like pelvis - the relevant point is the span, because it takes materially more meat and skin to wrap a wide span than a narrow one. Yes, soft tissue - but not only fat. The point is not the size/weight of the bones themselves. (Does anyone ever question that men with wide shoulders might rationally weigh more than men with a more narrow/linear vs. top-wide/triangular build? I've never seen it discussed.)

    Women my size can have breasts from at least 34A to 36 (or more) DDD and beyond. That's a multi-pound difference. (40B, when I was obese = about 4 pounds of breast tissue, according to my pathology lab).

    At 5'5, I have wrists over 6.25. Large frame?

    But at goal weight, I have 34" hips. There are women my height who'd need to be skeletally gaunt to get 34" hips, if they could get there at all. (I attached a photo upthread. I'm not skeletal.) I always had small breasts; now I have none (post mastectomies).

    My wrists say "large frame". Common sense - and visual assessment of the results - say I belong near the low end of the BMI range.

    The whole generic frame size paradigm is useless, IMO. We're individual.

    Edited: typos

    This just inspired me to Google. Yep, a good 2-2.5kg of me is boobs. I'm smack bang in the middle of healthy BMI.
  • sytchequeen
    sytchequeen Posts: 526 Member
    edited September 2017
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    I share peoples skepticism about the validity of the chart. However its good to know I have a medium to large frame... I always suspected as much lol (the width of my shoulders is the biggest tip-off)

    I have no idea about the science behind this (if any) but do know I can look too skinny at the middle of the BMI range for my height.
  • katsheare
    katsheare Posts: 1,025 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    I have long and skinny fingers, can easily stretch 10 keys on a piano and a frenemy in jr high claimed my hands looked like daddy long legs (I do have only 5 fingers on each hand, for the record, including my thumbs). I don't think I actually have a small frame, but apparently my long fingers mean that I am fat at 125 (I'm 5'3) and need to be 113 or less.

    I think I'll stick with BF% and BMI, but thanks.

    Finger twin! I definitely have pianist hands

    Same here! And ZERO ability to play piano (I come from a heavily musical family, we tried. My brain can't do it.), so growing up being told that I'd be a tall (big hands and feet) pianist means that this 5'4"/163 cm girl got used to ignoring what others said at a pretty early age...
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,575 Member
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    Thankful that I've never cared about being normal. Healthy is my goal and healthy is what I am at 5'6" and 146.3 lbs (as of this morning).
  • jdlobb
    jdlobb Posts: 1,232 Member
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    I'm still confused about why this thread was started.

    Was the original chart really old and supposed to show that people used to think you had to be even thinner than we think now to be healthy?

    I really don't have any idea what weight is supposed to be healthy for a woman. I had an ex that's about 5'8" and I've seen her weight fluctuate wildly. She looked her best when she was around 125 - 130, she was clearly overweight when she was in the 150ish range, and she was clearly underweight when she was around 115.

    That experience is literally my only context for women's weight.
  • jdlobb
    jdlobb Posts: 1,232 Member
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    jdlobb wrote: »
    I'm still confused about why this thread was started.

    Was the original chart really old and supposed to show that people used to think you had to be even thinner than we think now to be healthy?

    I really don't have any idea what weight is supposed to be healthy for a woman. I had an ex that's about 5'8" and I've seen her weight fluctuate wildly. She looked her best when she was around 125 - 130, she was clearly overweight when she was in the 150ish range, and she was clearly underweight when she was around 115.

    That experience is literally my only context for women's weight.

    A 5'8" woman would not be overweight at 150 (BMI of 22.8), though she might have been a little over-fat. At 125 her BMI would only be 19 and that is only 1.1 points from being underweight.

    Are you sure she wasn't lying about her weight? Many women do.

    no, she was on obsessive scale watcher, so I know the weight was accurate. She had very little muscle mass, her LBM would have been well below average. At 150 she looked pretty heavy. Could have been in part due to how she carried her excess weight.
  • Dazzler21
    Dazzler21 Posts: 1,249 Member
    edited September 2017
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    My brother is the same height as me (174cm), same body fat (17%) but far more muscular adding to his weight (95kg) his BMI has him as obese scoring 31.3.

    Whilst I sit at 17% BF weighing 78kg and Overweight with a 25.7 rating!

    17% body fat on each of us, and we're both overweight apparently. (The body fat test was conducted at Loughborough University. it consisted of a blood test, a body composition scan (using a machine that does a 3d scan of your entire frame.) and also electronic body composition scale readings (bio-electrical impedance), finally a skin fold/pinch test was done using body fat calipers and the average result was taken.

    We both were given the 17% body fat reading and the piece of equipment that was closest on us both was the bio-electrical impedance scan. (my next closest was the 3d, his was the skin fold)

    This is why BMI and any other method are bull *kitten* as unless you take proper measurements, they're unreliable.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    edited September 2017
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    leggup wrote: »
    NIH has standards for measuring frame size: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/17182.htm However, the majority of weight is stored as fat and soft tissue.. not bone. Bones don't have large weight changes from small to avg frame size. Also--- for my height, 6'0, BMI says I can weigh 137-183 lbs. That's pretty much the same scale as that chart anyway.

    Wrist test: Still silly. In women, big stuff like pelvic width and breast size is going to make a lot more difference than wrists, when it comes to determining a sensible weight.

    And where bones do matter - like pelvis - the relevant point is the span, because it takes materially more meat and skin to wrap a wide span than a narrow one. Yes, soft tissue - but not only fat. The point is not the size/weight of the bones themselves. (Does anyone ever question that men with wide shoulders might rationally weigh more than men with a more narrow/linear vs. top-wide/triangular build? I've never seen it discussed.)

    Women my size can have breasts from at least 34A to 36 (or more) DDD and beyond. That's a multi-pound difference. (40B, when I was obese = about 4 pounds of breast tissue, according to my pathology lab).

    At 5'5, I have wrists over 6.25. Large frame?

    But at goal weight, I have 34" hips. There are women my height who'd need to be skeletally gaunt to get 34" hips, if they could get there at all. (I attached a photo upthread. I'm not skeletal.) I always had small breasts; now I have none (post mastectomies).

    My wrists say "large frame". Common sense - and visual assessment of the results - say I belong near the low end of the BMI range.

    The whole generic frame size paradigm is useless, IMO. We're individual.

    Edited: typos

    Can I add things like shoulder width to this assessment? I have crazy broad shoulders, large breasts, tiny wrists, knobby knees and broad elbows ... and narrow hips and ribs.

    Where does that put me on these charts?

    I feel like my skeleton could be displayed in one of those carnival sideshows!

    I Googled. Boobs are 3.3 pounds.

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    jdlobb wrote: »
    I'm still confused about why this thread was started.

    Was the original chart really old and supposed to show that people used to think you had to be even thinner than we think now to be healthy?

    The original chart is old, maybe the insurance charts?

    I interpreted it to be saying that yes, you have to be thinner in many cases than the BMI would say in order to be a healthy or normal weight.

    It's all silly since BF% makes more difference. I had a former trainer, same height as me (5'3), who was around 135 and looked thinner than I did at 125, because lower BF, more muscle. I don't believe her "frame" was particularly different than mine.
  • riverain
    riverain Posts: 55 Member
    edited September 2017
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    So many people still focus on one number—total pounds—ignoring how many of those pounds belong to muscle, bone, organs, etc.

    I always wished mfp would make it easier to focus on metrics other than total weight. For example, if you lost inches on your hips, it would be great to have an automatic status update that shares that. Conversely, if your goal is to gain muscle it could share status updates when you increase inches.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    edited September 2017
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    IMO The only realistic way to project someone’s “ideal” weight is to measure body fat and muscle mass and work from there. I did 12 body composition assessments this week. I didn’t once look at the BMI portion of the reports when I discussed the results with members.
  • AudreyJDuke
    AudreyJDuke Posts: 1,092 Member
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    Fascinating discussion and information, thanks everyone!
  • Mouse_Potato
    Mouse_Potato Posts: 1,503 Member
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    I came in here fully expecting to agree with the OP, but this is just no. I am 5'3" and apparently I am overweight at 115.2. In my profile picture I was 120. My size 2s are getting loose on me and I need to drop two more pounds to be at the top weight for my height? Yeah, no.
  • maura_tasi
    maura_tasi Posts: 196 Member
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    I don't think that chart OP posted is a good example. At my lowest weight of 120lbs I was unable to touch my finger to my thumb around my wrist. Now at 147lbs (working on dropping more!) I still can't do it. My wrist is a very boney part of my body. Not everyone has the same bone size or the same finger size.
  • Fyreside
    Fyreside Posts: 444 Member
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    Cool thread, needs moar chart.
  • kisaiyuki
    kisaiyuki Posts: 3 Member
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    I suppose it depends on a lot of factors that are just now being taken into account.

    eg, 23andme:
    "your genes predispose you to weigh about 8% more than average"
    https://permalinks.23andme.com/pdf/23_17-GeneticWeight_Feb2017.pdf

    So if you're predisposed to weigh more, you would likely want to consume 10% less calories than what a guideline states for your BMI to achieve the target. But you wouldn't even know about this unless you had a DNA test looking for it, and most DNA tests are more concerned with genealogy before they look at anything else. There may still be a lot more gene-centric reasons for having a certain body mass.

    Another problem is vanity sizing by clothing manufacturers. By trying to make women feel good by giving arbitrary sizes (small/medium/large) or pointless dress sizes (eg 4 - petite) that have no standardized fit, it's instead feeding a negative feedback loop where people won't believe they are overweight as long as they still fit the dress sizes they used to wear. Meanwhile mens clothing is measured in inches or centimeters. So men are quickly told they are fat by the very same manufacturers where it's not measured in arbitrary small/medium/large sizes. That doesn't even get into teen or unisex sizes.

    So while it might be ideal for everyone to have a BMI under 25 but above 20, that will just not be reality, and it is not a definition of "fat", it's simply a risk scale.

    https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/risk.htm#limitations

    "BMI is a useful measure of overweight and obesity. It is calculated from your height and weight. BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers."

    So if you have a BMI over 25 and you're not a body-builder, that might be an issue. People who are into body building, or are very athletic will certainly hit BMI's that have no bearing on reality. Likewise people who are not of European descent have different BMI medians. From that PDF above:

    Median BMI
    European 25.75
    Latino 25.85
    African-American 27.49
    East Asian 22.65
    South Asian 24.27

    As for the the original post, I can touch my thumb and forefinger around my wrist. People do have different length digits, and I doubt this is a meaningful measure of anything.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,745 Member
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    cjpnh wrote: »
    4xhe1c0g2adr.jpeg
    I'm obviously obese based on these charts.



    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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