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Is BMI an accurate way to know how much I should weigh?

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,744 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,744 Member
    Less on specific body type and more on muscle mass, but yeah, it's not the end all, be all for individuals.

    On the whole I don't see the point of worrying about one's goal weight until one is close to it. You can set a higher goal and then change it, depending on how you look at the time.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Less on specific body type and more on muscle mass, but yeah, it's not the end all, be all for individuals.

    On the whole I don't see the point of worrying about one's goal weight until one is close to it. You can set a higher goal and then change it, depending on how you look at the time.

    This is broken-record-y, and I know you know it, but I'll underscore it in case of other readers:

    The goal weight you put in MFP has absolutely no effect on the calorie goal MFP will calculate for you.

    Your personal details (size, activity level sort of stuff) and the weight loss rate goal you select (X lbs/kg per week) are what determine the calorie goal. The goal weight is just used for some supposedly motivational messages and updates along the way ("you've lost X of Y pounds" kind of stuff).
  • frankwbrownfrankwbrown Member, Premium Posts: 1,085 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,085 Member
    @AnnPT77
    I think @lemurcat2 was referring to one's ideal weight rather than the goal weight you tell MFP.
    I set my goal weight at 230, only because 1) I thought it was attainable, and 2) it's a nice round 100 pounds below my max weight. Whether it is my ideal weight (a subjective notion in itself), I will know only after I get there.
    But I agree, the goal weight you give to MFP doesn't affect its calculation of your daily calorie goal. I believe it's a combination of age, sex, height, weight and stated activity level. The only one of those that has changed for me is my weight, and MFP has lowered my calorie goal several times for that reason.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member
    @AnnPT77
    I think @lemurcat2 was referring to one's ideal weight rather than the goal weight you tell MFP.
    I set my goal weight at 230, only because 1) I thought it was attainable, and 2) it's a nice round 100 pounds below my max weight. Whether it is my ideal weight (a subjective notion in itself), I will know only after I get there.
    But I agree, the goal weight you give to MFP doesn't affect its calculation of your daily calorie goal. I believe it's a combination of age, sex, height, weight and stated activity level. The only one of those that has changed for me is my weight, and MFP has lowered my calorie goal several times for that reason.

    I was responding to the part of her post that said "I don't see the point of worrying about one's goal weight until one is close to it. You can set a higher goal and then change it, depending on how you look at the time." My intention was to underscore that doing what she suggests doesn't somehow mess up the process in MFP.

    I know that her "Less on specific body type and more on muscle mass, but yeah, it's not the end all, be all for individuals." was about ideal weight, in context of the thread topic. I admit I digressed a little from the thread topic.
  • frankwbrownfrankwbrown Member, Premium Posts: 1,085 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,085 Member
    @AnnPT77
    I get your point now, and it's one worth underscoring. One should feel free to set a goal weight in MFP without fear that it will impact MFP's recommended daily calorie goal.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,343 Member Member Posts: 6,343 Member
    zamphir66 wrote: »
    I often see folks arguing against the concept of BMI, but in their argument they seem to have an erroneous impression of what BMI actually is. Therefore, I think it's useful to go straight to a reliable source and get a refresher. This, from the CDC, with my emphasis:
    Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

    ...BMI is an inexpensive and easy screening method for weight category—underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.

    BMI does not measure body fat directly, but BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat (1,2,3). Furthermore, BMI appears to be as strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcome as are these more direct measures of body fatness (4,5,6,7,8,9).

    To determine if BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider performs further assessments. Such assessments include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, and family history (10).

    In other words, the tool isn't really designed to tell any one person who much they should weigh. It only tells you where, statistically speaking, your weight begins to be correlated with certain disease risks. It doesn't mean you're absolutely going to get [insert disease] or that you have that disease now. It doesn't mean you can't be healthy, fit, and look good if you're a point or so into the overweight category. Nor does it mean that square in the middle of normal weight is where every person is going to look their best.

    Similarly, an eye chart can't diagnose retinopathy, but it's where an eye doctor is going to start the process of determining your eye health.
    You said, "In other words, the tool isn't really designed to tell any one person [how] much they should weigh."
    That is precisely my point. The OP titled this thread "Is BMI an accurate way to know how much I should weigh?".
    To that question, I would answer, "No."
    Sure, it's a good screening tool. And one can argue it's applicability for the general population. But when it comes down to the individual, it is an approximation whose accuracy will depend heavily on that individuals specific body type.



    Joining broken recordy posting :D

    I dont think anybody says BMI will tell you your ideal weight or exactly how much you should weigh

    What it will tell you, unless you are one of the obvious outliers listed upthread ( I stop short of broken record listing them again ;) ) is a range in which, or very slightly out of, you will be at a healthy weight

    You can then 'filter this further' by considering whether you are likely to be healthiest at higher or lower end or range - context like whether you are an older asian women or a sporty young man

    Nevertheless, it is extremely unlikely the answer to somebody asking, you know, like OP did in November I looked up my BMI last night and it says I’m overweight, so obviously I’m freaking out. But is it accurate? is not Yes if BMI says you are overweight, you are overweight.
  • BrackNelsonBrackNelson Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
    BMI (Body mass index), which is based on the height and weight of a person. Studies have shown that a BMI greater than 30.0 begins to significantly increase your risk of chronic health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breathing difficulties, kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and mobility issues.
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