# Calorie Counter

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# Am I unhealthy? BMI says I'm obese..

## Replies

• Posts: 9,590Member Member
PAV8888 wrote: »
Danp wrote: »
threewins wrote: »
There is a different BMI type calculation which uses height to the power of 2.5. Back in the day when BMI was invented powers of non-integers were hard to calculate, square is much easier.

The equivalent calculation is 1.3 * weight / height ^ 2.5, this gives a number about 0.8 lower than the normal calculation for my body, I'm 183 cm tall.

https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

There are a number of other indexes I've come across over the years, probably the most sophisticated which uses the height difference between shoulders and hips, and other measurements.

Interesting. I must be in some goldilocks zone because both numbers are exactly the same for me.

The difference is there but it isn't massive. About 4kg (~10lbs) or thereabouts for my height at 183cm (6 foot).

On the new scale 'Overweight' starts at 104kg (229lbs) and ends at 88kg (194lbs) with 87kg (192lbs) being 'Healthy' whereas the old scale Overweight starts 100kg (220lbs) and goes to 84kg (185lbs) with 83kg (182lbs) being top of 'Healthy'

Even ranges are spot on for me 18.5-25 are exactly the weights regular BMI calculators give me

Is it a twilight zone coincidence, he asks with tremor in his voice?

But, no, his google foo whispers, it's all as it were meant to be! The numbers 1.3 and 5734 are designed make the BMI reading unchanged for an adult of average height, which I take to be about 66.5 inches, i.e., 1.69 meters. (The square root of 1.69 is 1.3.) To find your "New BMI", try the New BMI Calculator written by Nick Hale. https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

That makes much more sense. The calculations were messing with my head.
• Posts: 124Member Member
Regardless of anything else, I can't imagine there are many 5'3" women, weighing 170 pounds, who aren't carrying quite a lot of fat. Particularly ones who have only recently started training, and don't eat very well.

i'm a 5' 3" woman. i have weighed 170 a couple times. right now, i'm definitely obese and working on it, with the smallest amount of thigh and calf muscle i've had in my entire life, but in the '90s, i was packed with muscle - legs included - and my waist was 5 inches smaller than it is now - at the same weight, but after spending several years lifting heavy. i had no double chin like i do now, either. no one would guess i'm the same weight if they could see me then and now. i'm guessing i've been an outlier on both sides of 170 - once higher in muscle and lower in fat than average and this time higher in fat and lower in muscle.
• Posts: 2,421Member Member
threewins wrote: »
There is a different BMI type calculation which uses height to the power of 2.5. Back in the day when BMI was invented powers of non-integers were hard to calculate, square is much easier.

The equivalent calculation is 1.3 * weight / height ^ 2.5, this gives a number about 0.8 lower than the normal calculation for my body, I'm 183 cm tall.

https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

There are a number of other indexes I've come across over the years, probably the most sophisticated which uses the height difference between shoulders and hips, and other measurements.

This is my new weight range according to this.
Your new BMI healthy range is
38.57 to 52.11 kgs.

There is no way I would consider myself healthy at under 40 kgs! I feel more comfortable with the current range between 41.5 and 55 kg, especially as I stop my periods under 42 kg.
• Posts: 33Member Member
Lillymoo01 wrote: »
threewins wrote: »
There is a different BMI type calculation which uses height to the power of 2.5. Back in the day when BMI was invented powers of non-integers were hard to calculate, square is much easier.

The equivalent calculation is 1.3 * weight / height ^ 2.5, this gives a number about 0.8 lower than the normal calculation for my body, I'm 183 cm tall.

https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

There are a number of other indexes I've come across over the years, probably the most sophisticated which uses the height difference between shoulders and hips, and other measurements.

This is my new weight range according to this.
Your new BMI healthy range is
38.57 to 52.11 kgs.

There is no way I would consider myself healthy at under 40 kgs! I feel more comfortable with the current range between 41.5 and 55 kg, especially as I stop my periods under 42 kg.

Which is why I really don't think that BMI should be used for individuals, as this graph shows

The scatter graph shows that people of the same BMI can have vastly different body fat percentages.
• Posts: 486Member Member
That new calculation is a bit sobering! It takes my range right down to 6st 3lb as opposed to the standard NHS calculator which gives the bottom weight as 6st 14lb. (?) why that is not the same thing as 7st has always puzzled me! 😂

On the other hand I suspect it is more accurate for us shorties. Just means I’ll adjust my goal weight down a bit, to be somewhere in the middle to lower end of that new range. 🙄
• Posts: 1,050Member Member
LKArgh wrote: »
kq1981 wrote: »
Lillymoo01 wrote: »
I am an RN and I do like the BMI tool - used in conjunction with clinical picture, ie seeing the actual patient.

Is usually blatantly obvious whether somebody has a very high BMI because they are have an unusual muscle mass, ie elite body builders - or they are plain old fat.

Yes I've seen people who are fit and healthy and BMI says overweight too - usually young active men who have a BMI of 27 or so.
They are the demographic often just above upper limits and still healthy.

Young women with BMI over 30,( ie OP) much less likely to be healthy weight.
Highly unlikely her BMI does not reflect true obesity, or at least significant overweight. As I said before.

The fact that BMI was first invented in 1830's doesn't change its validity. Maths hasn't changed and human body structure hasn't changed in that time.

I think it is really hard for a person to accept that they are obese and they cling onto anything they can to try and justify being an unhealthy weight. I am included in this they. I tried to kid myself for years that I simply had a large frame which meant I could still be healthy carrying around that extra weight. Once I got down to a healthy BMI I finally came to the realisation that my frame is anything but large. I was simply overweight.

It probably has to do with obesity being portrayed as a character flaw, not just a health risk. From a different perspective, as someone who has no self-esteem issues related to weight, I knew I was fat all along I just didn't care. Now, I know I'm still fat, and I prefer it. I don't feel the need to justify wanting to be an overweight BMI by saying I'm big boned (I actually am, but I'm also fat) because I don't feel it's something I need to be ashamed of.

This is why, personal opinion only, I don't like the BMI tool, because I did feel ashamed. Even as a nurse, telling people who look over weight, yeah fat, that they are morbidly obese feels terrible. Before I started here two years ago my BMI was morbidly obese. I also have g cup breasts Which are pretty damn heavy and hard on my back (Only lost one cup size after losing 17kg mind you), it was embarrassing because to look at me yes I was over weight, fat, I held my weight Differently as everyone does, obese, yeah OK, but Being told I was morbidly obese, when all we see is the stereotype of morbid obesity, can't move off the couch, chronically ill Etc it really did a number on my self esteem. I guess Everyone's entitled to disagree with our opinion, doesn't mean It's wrong for us. I have 10kg to go, I'm doing it for me and my health not because some scale says so.

Was it though the BMI or the label the issue? If you were being essentially labelled "fat" by whatever other tool, would it have changed anything?

Great question. I knew I was fat and needed to loose weight. Being told I was morbidly obese by any other tool would have elicited the same feelings. For me, it was the label. Its an easy straight forward tool to use of course, but on a societal and psychological level the "morbidly obese" label, can sometimes be associated with the image of someone sitting on a couch constantly eating, breathless, can barely walk, sagging round body ect. Which was not the case for me. So trying to take into consideration someone's mental health when telling them their BMI is morbidly obese, my mental health in this case, and those images that pop into my head and others, I was shocked, ashamed, disgusted and felt guilty. BMI doesnt take into account other aspects of a persons body, fat distribution, race etc That's why I question it sometimes. I hope that makes sense. I'm getting deep here lol
edited September 11
• Posts: 1,050Member Member
I'm not saying conditions secondary to obesity or the significant health implications obesity has isn't an issue or unimportant at all. Or that bmi isn't an easy, straight forward tool that shouldn't be used. Or that people's feelings should be spared by not telling them they are much more predisposed to chronic health conditions because they are obese, over weight, morbidly obese. I simply answered the question. Yes, the label, for me, was an issue and sometimes, it's hard, telling patients that have NO idea they are actually morbidly obese, not Just "overweight" after using the BMI tool as an assessment. I've strayed way to far from the OP's post by discussing other issues related to BMI.
edited September 11
• Posts: 200Member Member
I just went up from 20.5 to 21.55 on that new BMI calculator. Range being 41.2-55.68 kilos, which sounds about right for my height. There are women with a much smaller frame than me, who could be perfectly ok at 41 kilos. I could stand losing a few myself (carry some fat round hips and thighs).
• Posts: 110Member Member
Recent had a physical for a new insurance policy. The nurse calculated my BMI and I guess I'm obese... lol

We both had a good laugh
• Posts: 103Member Member
BMI is only a general guideline. At the same time, it's the exceptions that make the rule right?
If it states you are obese I'm afraid you can take that as true. Or you'd be at least in the higher range of Overweight.
You've already lost a lot of weight, clearly what you're doing is working, so keep at it!
• Posts: 1,050Member Member
kq1981 wrote: »
I'm not saying conditions secondary to obesity or the significant health implications obesity has isn't an issue or unimportant at all. Or that bmi isn't an easy, straight forward tool that shouldn't be used. Or that people's feelings should be spared by not telling them they are much more predisposed to chronic health conditions because they are obese, over weight, morbidly obese. I simply answered the question. Yes, the label, for me, was an issue and sometimes, it's hard, telling patients that have NO idea they are actually morbidly obese, not Just "overweight" after using the BMI tool as an assessment. I've strayed way to far from the OP's post by discussing other issues related to BMI.

I’m sure it’s hard telling patients they have cancer! What does that have to do with anything? It’s something that sometimes needs to be done, and there’s no reasonable way to soft-peddle it and still get the information across with the correct amount of urgency.

Of course you're right. Likening telling patients they are fat or telling them they have CA though render completely different feelings, for me. I did Mean to imply, being told what sub group people sit in using BMI was important to educate the patient on the Increase risk of Co-morbidities and the severity being obese has on their health, I never said it wasn't. Just that from a personal psychological level, the context being bmi, a label and the question I was asked regarding how I felt knowing I was actually morbidly obese, I have empathy due to the way I felt when I did my BMI and i sat at morbidly obese, i just thought I was fat/over weight.
• Posts: 58Member Member
I think it depends on how you feel & how your health is. I’m 5’3” and was up to 163. I’ve always done intense workouts 5x per week and my numbers at the doctors were immaculate ( perfect blood pressure, cholesterol, etc). While there didn’t appear to be a medical reason to lose weight, I just wasn’t feeling great about how I looked in my clothes. At 163, my clothing size was a 8-10- I think a lot has to do with where you carry your weight- I’m pretty hourglass-shaped. I’m (very slowly) losing weight using mfp. I’m at 148 now and feel much better getting dressed in the morning, including wearing form fitting gym clothes. I plan to lose 10 more pounds. But this is definitely vanity for me vs. a health issue.
edited September 12