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BMI CONTROVERSY‼️🤬

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  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,142Member Member Posts: 36,142Member Member
    WW1984 wrote: »
    Hey MFP Fam,

    Ok . . . We all know that the Body Mass index (BMI) is a screening tool that can indicate whether a person is underweight, healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person's BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly. But we’ve also heard experts say that "BMI is flawed".

    I’m 48 at a mere 4’ 10” and 116 lbs with a tiny frame (goal weight 100 lbs). The BMI chart says that I’m within my weight range of 88.5 - 119.6 (BMI = 24.24 as Normal). So if it’s flawed then what the H-E-double hockey stick are we to use other than just going by appearances, health exams, etc. ⁉️😫

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it is flawed...it is incomplete and doesn't tell the whole story. It is only one metric to gauge potential health risks in a population, not necessarily an individual. And it has nothing to do with aesthetics. I know people who are well within a healthy BMI range who are very much unhealthy and people who are just outside of a healthy range who are very fit and healthy.

    My usual maintenance weight is 180 Lbs which is about 5 Lbs overweight by BMI...my Dr. isn't particularly worried as I am not overly fat and maintain a healthy BF%, eat well, and exercise regularly...I'm just not super lean either. I'm trying to get down to 175 for summer purely for aesthetic reasons, not healthy reasons...we're probably getting a pool so I'll be shirtless a lot more often. I figure 175 will put me around 12% BF and I'll be right at the high end of the BMI range for my height.
    edited December 2018
  • wmd1979wmd1979 Posts: 289Member Member Posts: 289Member Member
    That BMI/surgery thing? I've had multiple surgeries when I was a lot more over weight than wmd1979.
    @wmd1979, has it been a long time since you had a physical? I have one every year, but I've never been referred back by a surgeon in order to get surgery.

    That's weird, unless you just never go to the doctor.

    I get a physical every year. I actually had cancer earlier this year and was finally cleared in July, so I have spent a lot of time at the doctor this year. This will be my fifth shoulder surgery and I don't recall having to take a physical before any of them. I think its weird too.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Posts: 27,599Member Member Posts: 27,599Member Member

    wmd1979 wrote: »
    That BMI/surgery thing? I've had multiple surgeries when I was a lot more over weight than wmd1979.
    @wmd1979, has it been a long time since you had a physical? I have one every year, but I've never been referred back by a surgeon in order to get surgery.

    That's weird, unless you just never go to the doctor.

    I get a physical every year. I actually had cancer earlier this year and was finally cleared in July, so I have spent a lot of time at the doctor this year. This will be my fifth shoulder surgery and I don't recall having to take a physical before any of them. I think its weird too.

    Oh, sorry to hear about the cancer. May have something to do with it (?)

    I hope everything goes well and you come out all shiny and fixed.
    edited December 2018
  • hesn92hesn92 Posts: 5,401Member Member Posts: 5,401Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    Personally, I find that BMI is generally a good guideline for the majority of people, but I did just have a case yesterday where I was affected by my BMI. I scheduled an upcoming shoulder surgery for mid January, and when doing so, I was forced to also schedule a pre-op physical based solely on the fact that my BMI puts me slightly into the overweight range. If I was in the normal range I would not have had to pass a physical. I am 6'2" 197 lbs and my bodyfat % is sub 10%. I was aware that I am 3-4 lbs into the overweight category but it never bothered me until yesterday when my surgeons office insisted I schedule a physical based only on my BMI. I don't have a problem with BMI being used as a guideline for people, but I think that strictly enforcing these guidelines just like what happened to me yesterday is ridiculous. Doctors offices, and insurance companies do need to recognize that there will be outliers and need to have secondary measures in place in those cases(height to waist ratio or whatever). With that being said, I believe that most people who think they are outliers actually are not, and sometimes people need to be honest with themselves and realize that they are larger than they should be.

    I think BMI is far more accurate for women. I have rarely ever seen a women who was "overweight" yet still looked thin, but have seen plenty of muscular men who shouldn't be deemed overweight.

    I have. Unless she was lying to me to make me feel better lol :D We had our on-site biometric screenings done right after I returned from maternity leave and I said "aw man, I'm in the overweight category" and she said "me too". This girl is like, the typical super healthy fit girl. She was pretty muscular but not overly-so. She did have a little stomach pudge just like... almost every other woman ever, but she was pretty thin otherwise. I thought that was strange.
    edited December 2018
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 1,933Member Member Posts: 1,933Member Member
    BZAH10 wrote: »
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    Personally, I find that BMI is generally a good guideline for the majority of people, but I did just have a case yesterday where I was affected by my BMI. I scheduled an upcoming shoulder surgery for mid January, and when doing so, I was forced to also schedule a pre-op physical based solely on the fact that my BMI puts me slightly into the overweight range. If I was in the normal range I would not have had to pass a physical. I am 6'2" 197 lbs and my bodyfat % is sub 10%. I was aware that I am 3-4 lbs into the overweight category but it never bothered me until yesterday when my surgeons office insisted I schedule a physical based only on my BMI. I don't have a problem with BMI being used as a guideline for people, but I think that strictly enforcing these guidelines just like what happened to me yesterday is ridiculous. Doctors offices, and insurance companies do need to recognize that there will be outliers and need to have secondary measures in place in those cases(height to waist ratio or whatever). With that being said, I believe that most people who think they are outliers actually are not, and sometimes people need to be honest with themselves and realize that they are larger than they should be.

    Oh wow. I hope as soon as they saw you the dismissed the need for a physical! That is ridiculous.

    At the end of the day it doesn't matter how healthy a weight you are, pre-surgical physicals/consults/visits with pre-surgical medicine are pretty important for a variety of reasons unrelated to weight.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 1,933Member Member Posts: 1,933Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    That BMI/surgery thing? I've had multiple surgeries when I was a lot more over weight than wmd1979.
    @wmd1979, has it been a long time since you had a physical? I have one every year, but I've never been referred back by a surgeon in order to get surgery.

    That's weird, unless you just never go to the doctor.

    I get a physical every year. I actually had cancer earlier this year and was finally cleared in July, so I have spent a lot of time at the doctor this year. This will be my fifth shoulder surgery and I don't recall having to take a physical before any of them. I think its weird too.

    The hospital where I had my last two knee surgeries at requires visits to presurgical medicine for everyone who isn't have emergency surgery. It's essentially a risks assessment that I assume is primarily used by the anesthesiology team. In my experience over the past two nothing like an actual physical - though when I had back surgery as a teenager I remember it being more like a physical, though with significantly more labs.

    The only times I haven't had something really similar was when I have had surgery at surgical centers. I still had pre-surgical consults though.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Posts: 4,624Member Member Posts: 4,624Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    Personally, I find that BMI is generally a good guideline for the majority of people, but I did just have a case yesterday where I was affected by my BMI. I scheduled an upcoming shoulder surgery for mid January, and when doing so, I was forced to also schedule a pre-op physical based solely on the fact that my BMI puts me slightly into the overweight range. If I was in the normal range I would not have had to pass a physical. I am 6'2" 197 lbs and my bodyfat % is sub 10%. I was aware that I am 3-4 lbs into the overweight category but it never bothered me until yesterday when my surgeons office insisted I schedule a physical based only on my BMI. I don't have a problem with BMI being used as a guideline for people, but I think that strictly enforcing these guidelines just like what happened to me yesterday is ridiculous. Doctors offices, and insurance companies do need to recognize that there will be outliers and need to have secondary measures in place in those cases(height to waist ratio or whatever). With that being said, I believe that most people who think they are outliers actually are not, and sometimes people need to be honest with themselves and realize that they are larger than they should be.

    I think BMI is far more accurate for women. I have rarely ever seen a women who was "overweight" yet still looked thin, but have seen plenty of muscular men who shouldn't be deemed overweight.

    as I have said several times before on similar threads....

    Sporty young men (not elite body builders or proffesional footballers, just generally active sporty types) will often have BMI slightly out of healthy range but in fact still have healthy bodies.

    By slightly out I mean up to about 27 , not way over.

    Being very tall can also skew results - you can have slightly high BMI whilst still being healthy. Again, obviously this more often applies to men.

    But this is like any variable range - there wont be an exact cut off point whereby 24.99 is healthy for everyone but 25.11 is not, that is silly.
    Obviously slightly outside range can be ok, within context.

    Conversely other people, particularly asian women, could actually be overweight even though their BMI is around 24. and some could be at their best personal weight at around 18.

    I doubt many people are healthy FAR outside the range though.

  • _aenyeweddien__aenyeweddien_ Posts: 105Member Member Posts: 105Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    Personally, I find that BMI is generally a good guideline for the majority of people, but I did just have a case yesterday where I was affected by my BMI. I scheduled an upcoming shoulder surgery for mid January, and when doing so, I was forced to also schedule a pre-op physical based solely on the fact that my BMI puts me slightly into the overweight range. If I was in the normal range I would not have had to pass a physical. I am 6'2" 197 lbs and my bodyfat % is sub 10%. I was aware that I am 3-4 lbs into the overweight category but it never bothered me until yesterday when my surgeons office insisted I schedule a physical based only on my BMI. I don't have a problem with BMI being used as a guideline for people, but I think that strictly enforcing these guidelines just like what happened to me yesterday is ridiculous. Doctors offices, and insurance companies do need to recognize that there will be outliers and need to have secondary measures in place in those cases(height to waist ratio or whatever). With that being said, I believe that most people who think they are outliers actually are not, and sometimes people need to be honest with themselves and realize that they are larger than they should be.

    as ridiculous as it is, it's probably for legal reasons - if they don't do a physical and something goes wrong, you could sue them and they wouldn't have a leg to stand on
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,701Member Member Posts: 5,701Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    WW1984 wrote: »
    Hey MFP Fam,

    Ok . . . We all know that the Body Mass index (BMI) is a screening tool that can indicate whether a person is underweight, healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person's BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly. But we’ve also heard experts say that "BMI is flawed".

    I’m 48 at a mere 4’ 10” and 116 lbs with a tiny frame (goal weight 100 lbs). The BMI chart says that I’m within my weight range of 88.5 - 119.6 (BMI = 24.24 as Normal). So if it’s flawed then what the H-E-double hockey stick are we to use other than just going by appearances, health exams, etc. ⁉️😫

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it is flawed...it is incomplete and doesn't tell the whole story. It is only one metric to gauge potential health risks in a population, not necessarily an individual. And it has nothing to do with aesthetics. I know people who are well within a healthy BMI range who are very much unhealthy and people who are just outside of a healthy range who are very fit and healthy.

    My usual maintenance weight is 180 Lbs which is about 5 Lbs overweight by BMI...my Dr. isn't particularly worried as I am not overly fat and maintain a healthy BF%, eat well, and exercise regularly...I'm just not super lean either. I'm trying to get down to 175 for summer purely for aesthetic reasons, not healthy reasons...we're probably getting a pool so I'll be shirtless a lot more often. I figure 175 will put me around 12% BF and I'll be right at the high end of the BMI range for my height.

    BMI isn't flawed.

    Application of BMI by insurance/corporate policies is flawed.

    This seems to be the key distinction.

    No, it really isn't. You just don't understand how actuarial analysis works.

    If you belong to an at risk group, you will pay a higher premium. Just as a driver under the age of 25 will pay a higher rate for car insurance


    If used as a first glance risk trigger which leads to additional analysis yes. If not, then the system is flawed. Of course when I say flawed I mean towards serving the interest of health and the consumer. In the sense of maximizing profits, then the system is working as intended.

    Does an individual with a low bodyfat %, but overweight BMI belong in a higher risk group?
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Posts: 8,615Member Member Posts: 8,615Member Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    Personally, I find that BMI is generally a good guideline for the majority of people, but I did just have a case yesterday where I was affected by my BMI. I scheduled an upcoming shoulder surgery for mid January, and when doing so, I was forced to also schedule a pre-op physical based solely on the fact that my BMI puts me slightly into the overweight range. If I was in the normal range I would not have had to pass a physical. I am 6'2" 197 lbs and my bodyfat % is sub 10%. I was aware that I am 3-4 lbs into the overweight category but it never bothered me until yesterday when my surgeons office insisted I schedule a physical based only on my BMI. I don't have a problem with BMI being used as a guideline for people, but I think that strictly enforcing these guidelines just like what happened to me yesterday is ridiculous. Doctors offices, and insurance companies do need to recognize that there will be outliers and need to have secondary measures in place in those cases(height to waist ratio or whatever). With that being said, I believe that most people who think they are outliers actually are not, and sometimes people need to be honest with themselves and realize that they are larger than they should be.

    I think BMI is far more accurate for women. I have rarely ever seen a women who was "overweight" yet still looked thin, but have seen plenty of muscular men who shouldn't be deemed overweight.

    I have. Unless she was lying to me to make me feel better lol :D We had our on-site biometric screenings done right after I returned from maternity leave and I said "aw man, I'm in the overweight category" and she said "me too". This girl is like, the typical super healthy fit girl. She was pretty muscular but not overly-so. She did have a little stomach pudge just like... almost every other woman ever, but she was pretty thin otherwise. I thought that was strange.

    if i were as muscular as i'd like to be for the aerial stuff i do, i would definitely be marked as overweight.
  • johnslater461johnslater461 Posts: 400Member Member Posts: 400Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    WW1984 wrote: »
    Hey MFP Fam,

    Ok . . . We all know that the Body Mass index (BMI) is a screening tool that can indicate whether a person is underweight, healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person's BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly. But we’ve also heard experts say that "BMI is flawed".

    I’m 48 at a mere 4’ 10” and 116 lbs with a tiny frame (goal weight 100 lbs). The BMI chart says that I’m within my weight range of 88.5 - 119.6 (BMI = 24.24 as Normal). So if it’s flawed then what the H-E-double hockey stick are we to use other than just going by appearances, health exams, etc. ⁉️😫

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it is flawed...it is incomplete and doesn't tell the whole story. It is only one metric to gauge potential health risks in a population, not necessarily an individual. And it has nothing to do with aesthetics. I know people who are well within a healthy BMI range who are very much unhealthy and people who are just outside of a healthy range who are very fit and healthy.

    My usual maintenance weight is 180 Lbs which is about 5 Lbs overweight by BMI...my Dr. isn't particularly worried as I am not overly fat and maintain a healthy BF%, eat well, and exercise regularly...I'm just not super lean either. I'm trying to get down to 175 for summer purely for aesthetic reasons, not healthy reasons...we're probably getting a pool so I'll be shirtless a lot more often. I figure 175 will put me around 12% BF and I'll be right at the high end of the BMI range for my height.

    BMI isn't flawed.

    Application of BMI by insurance/corporate policies is flawed.

    This seems to be the key distinction.

    No, it really isn't. You just don't understand how actuarial analysis works.

    If you belong to an at risk group, you will pay a higher premium. Just as a driver under the age of 25 will pay a higher rate for car insurance


    If used as a first glance risk trigger which leads to additional analysis yes. If not, then the system is flawed. Of course when I say flawed I mean towards serving the interest of health and the consumer. In the sense of maximizing profits, then the system is working as intended.

    Does an individual with a low bodyfat %, but overweight BMI belong in a higher risk group?

    I suppose such individuals might be comparable to drivers under 25 with spotless driving records. They are not a proven risk themselves but, statistically speaking, belong to a high risk group.

    Exactly.
    BMI is just one factor out of many used to assign risk.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 1,933Member Member Posts: 1,933Member Member
    For people that are athletic in structure, BMI can actually classify someone as overweight!!! There are several different kinds of tests that you can get done that more accurately measure body fat percentage. Skin fold test is one example. Do some research on your own! Big thing to ask yourself is: do you FEEL healthy and are you happy with your body? If so, look elsewhere for answers!

    It's funny you say that because the International Ski Federation tried to combat their ski jumping athletes being at unhealthy weights (specifically being underweight) by introducing a BMI rule. Here's a Reuters article about it, but googling "ski jumping BMI rule" nets a lot of results.
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