Is BMI really BS?

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Replies

  • QueenBishOTUniverse
    QueenBishOTUniverse Posts: 14,121 Member
    I agree and said that earlier, doesn't change the fact that for indicating obesity, it's virtually worthless, so again, what IS it good for?

    If you're BMI obese, you're very likely to actually be body fat obese. So that's what it's good for.

    But it doesn't capture a whole slew of people who are actually obese, but will never know it because BMI says they're healthy, and skews drastically in the other direction for women as you approach healthy BMI. And as another poster has already pointed out, if you classify as obese on both BF and BMI, chances are you already know you have a weight issue and probably don't need BMI to tell you that.

    umm....unless they were looking at the wrong range of BMI...real obese with a healthy BMI is almost unlikely. The other way around (higher BMI but healthy muscle/fat ratio) is possible, which a lot of posters were trying to convince the others with their outlier examples...

    I'm tending to focus on the women under sixty data since that's my demographic and in the 20 to 25 BMI range there are plenty of data points well above the 30% BF that tends to be the cut off for a healthy amount of fat in women, but yes truly obese body fat levels with a healthy BMI certainly is not prevalent in that data set.
  • mccindy72
    mccindy72 Posts: 7,001 Member
    As a woman of 5'7-1/2" at 124 lbs. I can tell you, the BMI charts say I can lose another 8 lbs before I go below the "normal" range to a weight that would be too low for my height. I can also tell you just by looking in the mirror that that is ridiculous. I don't know where I'd lose another 8 lbs. I can already see the bones in my hips, chest, and have good muscle definition and low body fat. I'm a size 1/2. I don't think the BMI chart takes into account the muscle mass and bone structure of every body type for women and men appropriately.
  • Kevalicious99
    Kevalicious99 Posts: 1,153 Member
    When I was overweight it said I was .. wait for it .. yes "Overweight". I knew I was over weight .. no denying it.

    Now that I am in maintenance it says I am ... wait yes "Normal" .. which I am. So for me it is fitting just fine.

    For some people it works just fine. But some .. no. People like athletes.
  • Wonderob
    Wonderob Posts: 1,372 Member
    When I was overweight it said I was .. wait for it .. yes "Overweight". I knew I was over weight .. no denying it.

    Now that I am in maintenance it says I am ... wait yes "Normal" .. which I am. So for me it is fitting just fine.

    For some people it works just fine. But some .. no. People like athletes.

    For those it works for, it adds nothing to what you didn't know. When you was overweight - you knew it anyway = no benefit
    Now you are not overweight, you already know that = no benefit

    It does not work for me and I'm no athlete. So essentially if you don't know if the BMI chart will work for you or not - what use is it?
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    According to my BMI, I'm obese.

    Don't believe everyone fits the puzzle.
  • jaggerhawks
    jaggerhawks Posts: 187 Member
    For me, it is. I was overweight and excuse my french, sexy as fuark. Softened up a bit, because I didn't feel the need to look the the terminator while not competing.

    For most of the population, no. It's a perfectly acceptable standard for the average person with a normal amount of muscle mass.
  • Wonderob
    Wonderob Posts: 1,372 Member
    For me, it is. I was overweight and excuse my french, sexy as fuark. Softened up a bit, because I didn't feel the need to look the the terminator while not competing.

    For most of the population, no. It's a perfectly acceptable standard for the average person with a normal amount of muscle mass.

    And where are the charts to find out if you're an average person? I thought I was but I'm classified as overweight according to BMI
  • jaggerhawks
    jaggerhawks Posts: 187 Member
    For me, it is. I was overweight and excuse my french, sexy as fuark. Softened up a bit, because I didn't feel the need to look the the terminator while not competing.

    For most of the population, no. It's a perfectly acceptable standard for the average person with a normal amount of muscle mass.

    And where are the charts to find out if you're an average person? I thought I was but I'm classified as overweight according to BMI

    Average as in...you don't have enough muscle to be clinically overweight while having a single digit body fat. For men at least. If the BMI scale says you're fat, and you're body fat percentage says you're fat, you are average, and not the exception to the norm.
  • Wonderob
    Wonderob Posts: 1,372 Member
    For me, it is. I was overweight and excuse my french, sexy as fuark. Softened up a bit, because I didn't feel the need to look the the terminator while not competing.

    For most of the population, no. It's a perfectly acceptable standard for the average person with a normal amount of muscle mass.

    And where are the charts to find out if you're an average person? I thought I was but I'm classified as overweight according to BMI

    Average as in...you don't have enough muscle to be clinically overweight while having a single digit body fat. For men at least. If the BMI scale says you're fat, and you're body fat percentage says you're fat, you are average, and not the exception to the norm.

    I'm still not buying that

    I'm 155 lbs, 15% body fat, 25,5 BMI

    I'm not fat, my doctor says I'm not fat, I don't look fat
    The BMI charts say I am though???
  • Shropshire1959
    Shropshire1959 Posts: 982 Member
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265215.php
    Professor Trefethen believes that the BMI height2/weight term divides the weight by too much in short people and too little in tall individuals. This results in tall people believing they are fatter than they really are4, and short people thinking they are thinner.

    BMI was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874), a Belgian mathematician, sociologist, statistician and astronomer.

    Trefethen explained that during Quetelet's time there were no calculators, computers or electronic devices - which is probably why he opted for a super-simple system. Trefethen wonders why institutions today on both sides of the Atlantic continue using the same flawed-BMI formula.
  • FlaxMilk
    FlaxMilk Posts: 3,452 Member
    The BMI scale is benefiting OP. While she is in the healthy range, she is also aware that she would be ok losing some and that gaining more than a bit would probably not be optimal for her health. It can't make the decision about good or bad for appearance. No scale can do that, because attractiveness will always be somewhat subjective. OP can choose to stay right where she is, lose some and still be healthy, or gain a bit and still be healthy. There's a lot of room in there for her to decide what she thinks is the most attractive and where she feels her healthiest. It can't do her thinking for her, but that doesn't mean it's useless to her.

    Many people have distorted images of what they look like. Our minds often don't perceive gradual changes very well. People I know very well look the same weight to me pretty much all the time. The person I'm thinking of the most, I've seen at a BMI of 20 and a BMI of 27. He always looks the same to me. I can tell the difference in my weight with pictures, but honestly, not so much in the mirror most of the time. The BMI is useful for me in that way. It doesn't make my decisions for me, though. I can't think of one measure that can do that, 100% of the time for 100% of people.

    The BMI scale is a little generous with me at the upper range of normal, if I go by pictures and how fit I feel. On the other hand, the lower end is physically very uncomfortable for me. Both numbers are in the healthy range. How do I know where I fit? I use my brain to put together all the factors instead of just one.

    It's a pretty decent range. There are cutoffs in all areas of life. If I commit a crime the day before I turn 18, am I really more responsible the next day than I was a few hours earlier? We draw lines and use them for a general idea of where to be. (If I'm 17, I know I'm close enough to the age of legal culpability to be more concerned than if I were 13. On the other hand, if I were a judge, I'd be more inclined to give a young 18 more of a break than someone older. That's not enough information for anyone, including me, to know what I'd really do. But it puts me in the ballpark.)

    Besides, it's a measure of mass, not fat. I'm not sure I buy that someone who carries vastly more muscle than the BMI scale predicts is necessarily without risk from the extra weight, just because it's from muscle and not fat.
  • Joanne_Moniz
    Joanne_Moniz Posts: 347 Member
    So, everyone around me has been telling me not to look at numbers but instead how I feel. I don't like that I am on the heavier side of "healthy" and I'm close to being "overweight":brokenheart: . I've lost ten pounds and I want to lose another ten because it will put me at a much healthier looking BMI. Is this a good idea?
    It's difficult because I don't dislike my body (that much) and I know some of my weight is muscle. Not a lot of it but I certainly have some tone in my legs. My mums telling me to keep loosing weight but my friends think it's unnecessary.
    Do you think I should improve my BMI or is it all BS?

    There is quite a bit of controversy over BMI. Body weight compromises muscle, bone and water, and body fat. B.M.I. alone is not a exact measure of how fat a person may be. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Mr. Universe, his B.M.I. indicated that he was obese but he was hardly fat. You may want to do some research on the BMI.

    Joanne Moniz
    The Skinny on Obesity Group
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    So, everyone around me has been telling me not to look at numbers but instead how I feel. I don't like that I am on the heavier side of "healthy" and I'm close to being "overweight":brokenheart: . I've lost ten pounds and I want to lose another ten because it will put me at a much healthier looking BMI. Is this a good idea?
    It's difficult because I don't dislike my body (that much) and I know some of my weight is muscle. Not a lot of it but I certainly have some tone in my legs. My mums telling me to keep loosing weight but my friends think it's unnecessary.
    Do you think I should improve my BMI or is it all BS?

    There is quite a bit of controversy over BMI. Body weight compromises muscle, bone and water, and body fat. B.M.I. alone is not a exact measure of how fat a person may be. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Mr. Universe, his B.M.I. indicated that he was obese but he was hardly fat. You may want to do some research on the BMI.

    Joanne Moniz
    The Skinny on Obesity Group
    As normal Joanne your missing the point. BMI was not designed to be used on People like athletes or body builders. It is a guide for well average people
  • fairygirlpie9
    fairygirlpie9 Posts: 288 Member
    BMI says nothing about your body composition. It can be used as a guide for most people but like most guides it's not going to be 100% accurate. At the end of the day if you are comfortable with what you see in the mirror then I wouldn't worry too much. Lifting heavy is always going to improve your appearance. If I were you I would focus on health rather than an arbitrary number on the scale.
    x
  • tigerblue
    tigerblue Posts: 1,525 Member
    Let me throw something else into the mix: I would argue that the BMI is too generous for those who are on the short side. I am 5'2.5" and mine is 22.5. But in my opinion, I don't need to be any larger! This is the upper limit for me. I have looked at the new BMI calculations, which modify for those who are shorter or taller. It seems more accurate to me.

    To the OP, if you are judging by appearance, you look great. You are not skinny, but your avatar looks slim and attractive to me. Of course we all have parts we'd like to change, and I understand that. But I think the BMI is more for health evaluation than for appearance. As I said above, in my opinion, if I weighed what the BMI said I could, I would not like the way I look. But I would likely be a HEALTHY weight. So take it as just one evaluation of success.
  • Guinness80
    Guinness80 Posts: 39 Member
    To me BMI is just a tool or guideline. It is not THE tool, just a tool, to use in our goals to find our healthy bodies. As with any tools, you need to use a good dose of common sense to use it correctly. I know with my body and build that I will be happy when I am at the higher end of the normal range of BMI. My friend on the other hand who is about the same height as me, but a much leaner bone structure and not as..ah..developed on her top as I am fits much better lower in the scale. And another friend who is a body builder? Well he just ignores the scale all together since he knows for a fact his fat percentage is really low no matter what the BMI numbers say.

    Just use it as one piece of the total picture and don't obsess about it.
  • Wonderob
    Wonderob Posts: 1,372 Member


    Just use it as one piece of the total picture and don't obsess about it.

    If something is a piece of the total picture then it has a place in the total picture

    As soon as you start to add other indicators like BF, the BMI is redundant

    If you have your weight, your body fat, and your height - what does BMI add to that? Nothing

    You either use BMI on it's own - in which case it's vague, inaccurate, often misleading and generalist.... or you use better indicators and dispense with the BMI

    If you're happy to have a very rough, very simplistic indicator of whether you are overweight, that might or might not be correct, then fine.
  • Shropshire1959
    Shropshire1959 Posts: 982 Member

    Just use it as one piece of the total picture and don't obsess about it.

    If it's not accurate it has no useful place so why use it at all?
  • cwoyto123
    cwoyto123 Posts: 308
    BMI is BS sometimes, but statically, it's good.
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member
    As a woman of 5'7-1/2" at 124 lbs. I can tell you, the BMI charts say I can lose another 8 lbs before I go below the "normal" range to a weight that would be too low for my height. I can also tell you just by looking in the mirror that that is ridiculous. I don't know where I'd lose another 8 lbs. I can already see the bones in my hips, chest, and have good muscle definition and low body fat. I'm a size 1/2. I don't think the BMI chart takes into account the muscle mass and bone structure of every body type for women and men appropriately.

    This isn't how the chart works.

    BMI ranges aren't meant to be read as "I'm 5'7", ergo I should be perfectly fine anywhere in this 30 lbs range".

    No. BMI ranges are about telling the general population, i.e. the majority of people, what RANGE their weight will likely fall in within any given category; healthy, underweight, overweight, obese.

    It's general territory, not a specific target. It lets you know what region you're likely suppose to be in, not what specific house in what specific neighborhood.