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How do we judge a healthy weight range? BMI is no longer valid?

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Replies

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    It makes no sense to think the BMI is supposed to BE body fat percentage, vs. an estimate of whether you have a healthy body fat percentage for the typical (not extremely muscular) person. For women, it's much more common to be within the BMI range and still overfat, because women having enough muscle to mess up BMI is rare (as others have pointed out). For men it's more common, but you'd know, and it's irrelevant for someone who is clearly obese -- as others have said, lose the weight and then decide.

    That BMI is not supposed to actually represent BF% can be demonstrated by the fat that under 18.5 is supposed to be underweight and that men and women have the same scale. Indeed, before it was adjusted, the scale for men being normal weight was slightly higher than women (20-27 vs. 19-26 or some such), when obviously no one has ever thought a man was underweight if below 20% BF.

    Excellent post. The BMI number does not equal bodyfat %

  • ForecasterJason
    ForecasterJason Posts: 2,577 Member
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    This just in: people in denial about their size and/or health think the measure telling them they are in denial is inaccurate?

    And people with poor reading comprehension make inaccurate assumptions. Your point would be?

    No.

    Some day you'll figure it out and stop kidding yourself. Or you won't. Either way, no skin off my back.

    I'm not kidding myself. I am fat, and diabetic and my joints hurt. And I haven't at all denied it. That is why I'm counting calories and losing weight. As far as my goals, they are supported by math. The numbers say that if I were under 25 BMI I would also be below average in muscle mass for my weight. The numbers say that if I can achieve 15% body fat at 220 pounds, my muscle mass percentage will be close to the middle of average. And 15% body fat is not fat, period.

    I do not oppose BMI because I want to deny being fat. I oppose BMI because the charts designating a "healthy" weight range promote a low-muscle physique.

    Had you read and understood my posts up to this point, you would not have made that nonsense comment about 'denial' and I wouldn't be repeating these statements.

    If you're diabetic and your joints hurt the last thing you want to do is "maximize your muscle potential". Yes, having a good muscle mass is good for diabetes, but having too high of a muscle mass is still extra weight on the joints and bad for neuropathy. The amount of protein needed to maximize your muscle mass is also something to watch because diabetes can bring about impaired kidney function at any moment so it needs to be closely watched. Since you have stated you have a tendency to story visceral fat, having low subcutaneous fat may not be enough because you could be lean and muscular but still store a good amount of visceral fat if you are genetically predisposed.
    Good points. I think for muscle mass to effectively help diabetes one would need their amount of visceral fat to be minimized. And I don't know that diabetes risk has been studied for those who have taken their muscle mass to the upper limit.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    This just in: people in denial about their size and/or health think the measure telling them they are in denial is inaccurate?

    And people with poor reading comprehension make inaccurate assumptions. Your point would be?

    No.

    Some day you'll figure it out and stop kidding yourself. Or you won't. Either way, no skin off my back.

    I'm not kidding myself. I am fat, and diabetic and my joints hurt. And I haven't at all denied it. That is why I'm counting calories and losing weight. As far as my goals, they are supported by math. The numbers say that if I were under 25 BMI I would also be below average in muscle mass for my weight. The numbers say that if I can achieve 15% body fat at 220 pounds, my muscle mass percentage will be close to the middle of average. And 15% body fat is not fat, period.

    I do not oppose BMI because I want to deny being fat. I oppose BMI because the charts designating a "healthy" weight range promote a low-muscle physique.

    Had you read and understood my posts up to this point, you would not have made that nonsense comment about 'denial' and I wouldn't be repeating these statements.

    If you're diabetic and your joints hurt the last thing you want to do is "maximize your muscle potential". Yes, having a good muscle mass is good for diabetes, but having too high of a muscle mass is still extra weight on the joints and bad for neuropathy. The amount of protein needed to maximize your muscle mass is also something to watch because diabetes can bring about impaired kidney function at any moment so it needs to be closely watched. Since you have stated you have a tendency to story visceral fat, having low subcutaneous fat may not be enough because you could be lean and muscular but still store a good amount of visceral fat if you are genetically predisposed.
    Good points. I think for muscle mass to effectively help diabetes one would need their amount of visceral fat to be minimized. And I don't know that diabetes risk has been studied for those who have taken their muscle mass to the upper limit.

    Just my opinion but I would think that to take muscle mass to the upper limits a person would have to be eating a nutrionally sound diet and exercising. A couple of the things that tend to prevent diabetes
  • ForecasterJason
    ForecasterJason Posts: 2,577 Member
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    This just in: people in denial about their size and/or health think the measure telling them they are in denial is inaccurate?

    And people with poor reading comprehension make inaccurate assumptions. Your point would be?

    No.

    Some day you'll figure it out and stop kidding yourself. Or you won't. Either way, no skin off my back.

    I'm not kidding myself. I am fat, and diabetic and my joints hurt. And I haven't at all denied it. That is why I'm counting calories and losing weight. As far as my goals, they are supported by math. The numbers say that if I were under 25 BMI I would also be below average in muscle mass for my weight. The numbers say that if I can achieve 15% body fat at 220 pounds, my muscle mass percentage will be close to the middle of average. And 15% body fat is not fat, period.

    I do not oppose BMI because I want to deny being fat. I oppose BMI because the charts designating a "healthy" weight range promote a low-muscle physique.

    Had you read and understood my posts up to this point, you would not have made that nonsense comment about 'denial' and I wouldn't be repeating these statements.

    If you're diabetic and your joints hurt the last thing you want to do is "maximize your muscle potential". Yes, having a good muscle mass is good for diabetes, but having too high of a muscle mass is still extra weight on the joints and bad for neuropathy. The amount of protein needed to maximize your muscle mass is also something to watch because diabetes can bring about impaired kidney function at any moment so it needs to be closely watched. Since you have stated you have a tendency to story visceral fat, having low subcutaneous fat may not be enough because you could be lean and muscular but still store a good amount of visceral fat if you are genetically predisposed.
    Good points. I think for muscle mass to effectively help diabetes one would need their amount of visceral fat to be minimized. And I don't know that diabetes risk has been studied for those who have taken their muscle mass to the upper limit.

    Just my opinion but I would think that to take muscle mass to the upper limits a person would have to be eating a nutrionally sound diet and exercising. A couple of the things that tend to prevent diabetes
    I tend to agree. However, I think this becomes tricky for those that are already diabetic for the reasons amusedmonkey mentioned.

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    This just in: people in denial about their size and/or health think the measure telling them they are in denial is inaccurate?

    And people with poor reading comprehension make inaccurate assumptions. Your point would be?

    No.

    Some day you'll figure it out and stop kidding yourself. Or you won't. Either way, no skin off my back.

    I'm not kidding myself. I am fat, and diabetic and my joints hurt. And I haven't at all denied it. That is why I'm counting calories and losing weight. As far as my goals, they are supported by math. The numbers say that if I were under 25 BMI I would also be below average in muscle mass for my weight. The numbers say that if I can achieve 15% body fat at 220 pounds, my muscle mass percentage will be close to the middle of average. And 15% body fat is not fat, period.

    I do not oppose BMI because I want to deny being fat. I oppose BMI because the charts designating a "healthy" weight range promote a low-muscle physique.

    Had you read and understood my posts up to this point, you would not have made that nonsense comment about 'denial' and I wouldn't be repeating these statements.

    If you're diabetic and your joints hurt the last thing you want to do is "maximize your muscle potential". Yes, having a good muscle mass is good for diabetes, but having too high of a muscle mass is still extra weight on the joints and bad for neuropathy. The amount of protein needed to maximize your muscle mass is also something to watch because diabetes can bring about impaired kidney function at any moment so it needs to be closely watched. Since you have stated you have a tendency to story visceral fat, having low subcutaneous fat may not be enough because you could be lean and muscular but still store a good amount of visceral fat if you are genetically predisposed.
    Good points. I think for muscle mass to effectively help diabetes one would need their amount of visceral fat to be minimized. And I don't know that diabetes risk has been studied for those who have taken their muscle mass to the upper limit.

    Just my opinion but I would think that to take muscle mass to the upper limits a person would have to be eating a nutrionally sound diet and exercising. A couple of the things that tend to prevent diabetes
    I tend to agree. However, I think this becomes tricky for those that are already diabetic for the reasons amusedmonkey mentioned.

    Yep I was thinking more about those that lived the lifestyle long term.

  • MarkusDarwath
    MarkusDarwath Posts: 393 Member
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    If you're diabetic and your joints hurt the last thing you want to do is "maximize your muscle potential".

    Who's maximizing? 42% is solidly within normal range. Yes, I wish to retain a solid mass and improve my functional strength to continue an active lifestyle. If I had a desk job and was less concerned with strength I might be ok with going as low as 205 (which would still be "overweight" by bmi). As it is, 220 is a more than 40 pound drop from where I am now, and I already have significantly reduced the pain due to the 30 I've lost so far. I also know (a few sessions of physical therapy have been a big help) that part of my low back issues is due to not enough strength in my lower abdominals.
  • MarkusDarwath
    MarkusDarwath Posts: 393 Member
    edited August 2016
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    So, subtracting 40% muscle and 15% fat from your 220 pound goal, we arrive at 99 pounds.
    Do you think your skeleton and organs weigh 99 pounds?

    40% was a rounded number. My actual calculations for 220 work out to 42% muscle, with my calculations at current weight having given me 94 pounds non-muscle lean mass . And yes, I do believe that my total of bone, internal organs, skin, blood, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage, lymphatic system... (have I left anything out?) add up to 94 pounds. If you have references to dispute that, please post them.
  • MarkusDarwath
    MarkusDarwath Posts: 393 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    It makes no sense to think the BMI is supposed to BE body fat percentage, vs. an estimate of whether you have a healthy body fat percentage for the typical (not extremely muscular) person. ....For women, it's much more common to be within the BMI range and still overfat....,


    So it's a height to weight ratio with a poor correlation to body composition. This makes it useful to the individual, how? It's an equalizer for studies of large populations. It's only an indicator of healthy body composition when applied to the -mathematical average- of a group with a very large set of data points. You do understand that the ordinary common typical "average" person is not mathematically "average," correct? It is far too easy and common for a person to have a healthy composition outside the BMI range, or to have an unhealthy composition within the BMI range. And again, there's the fact that statistical studies of health outcomes compared to BMI show that actual risk levels do -not- correspond with the classifications on the standard BMI charts. The entire category of "overweight" is basically meaningless. It would be more accurate to simply eliminate that classification and place the cutoff between "normal" and "overfat" between 27 and 28,
  • MarkusDarwath
    MarkusDarwath Posts: 393 Member
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    fatfudgery wrote: »
    I can say that being 6'1", 46 yo, and large framed there is absolutely no reason I should weigh less than 210-220.

    What are you basing that on, exactly? I'm a big guy (6'4", large frame), I lift, and at my current 220 lbs / 13-14% BF I could definitely afford to lose a couple of pounds of fat...

    Perhaps you could afford to, but there's no reason you need to unless it's for competition or just the look you prefer. At 13-14% BF you already are an athletic body composition. Going lower starts to bring you into that elite range. I have no desire to look quite that cut. I'm not a huge fan of it, and especially don't think it looks appropriate at my age. Toned with functional strength is fine for me.
  • MarkusDarwath
    MarkusDarwath Posts: 393 Member
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    In fact, recommendations from the medical community are to lose weight if you're in the obese range, and to simply not gain weight if you're in the overweight range and lacking other risk factors for weight-related issues.

    Exactly this! "Overweight" by BMI is not actually over-weight, it is simply a weight. The use of that term with that BMI range is, in my opinion, a form of shaming motivated by social engineering goals.
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
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  • afatpersonwholikesfood
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    Dove0804 wrote: »
    Haven't read through the thread.

    I have a BMI of 28. My current goal weight will give me a BMI of 25. I'll still be just a bit into the overweight range. As it stands right now at my current BMI, my doctor has no issue with me maintaining here. I want to lose a few more pounds for myself - mainly because I want to go down another clothing size or two, and I want to hopefully improve my running by weighing a bit less. My BP is 110/60, my RHR is in the low 50's, my cholesterol is 129, my HDL is above 50, my triglycerides and LDL are ideal, and my fasting glucose is in the low 80's. My waist circumference and hip/waist ratio are also where they need to be. I'm healthy. Sorry not sorry. Maybe I'll lose a few more pounds when I get to BMI of 25. Maybe I won't. I've approached all of my weight loss as a wait-and-see with small goals along the way.

    BMI is a tool, and it has its uses, and there isn't some major problem with it being applied correctly by a clinician as a diagnostic tool or as a general guideline for someone trying to determine the amount of weight they want to lose or gain. What people forget is that BMI is just one measure, and a good doctor will tell you this. In fact, recommendations from the medical community are to lose weight if you're in the obese range, and to simply not gain weight if you're in the overweight range and lacking other risk factors for weight-related issues. Waist circumference is important. So are lab values and BP readings. Every individual should discuss their goals with their doctor. Not everyone has to fit in the same box. Exercise and a healthy diet will take you far even if your weight is not "perfect."

    People who believe that BMI over 24 is always unhealthy and a recipe for diabetes and heart disease are either not doctors or simply have issues with fat people. Doesn't matter what our cultural norms on size may have become.

    Please understand that my (and others') point is simply that BMI is not complete bullpucky and is valid as a generalization for a large portion of the population. It's important to take other things into consideration as well and there is nothing wrong with aiming for a higher BMI all other things considered (like body fat, waist circumference, lab work, etc.), especially if that's where someone feels their best. I don't think anyone here argued that BMI is the end-all-be-all. You may want to read through the thread.

    This was more my standard commentary on this topic in general and not directed at anyone in this thread since, like you're aware, I haven't read the thread. On these forums, though, and in other places, I have seen people remark with very black-and-white thinking on what constitutes health. Sometimes, it's just repeating things that they have heard over and over. Sometimes, it's obvious that their health concerns are really coming from another place. I'm also a believer, as the medical community is, that just losing 10% is a good goal, even if it leaves you in the obese category. There's such a thing as risk reduction, and people do improve things like diabetes and blood pressure, sometimes dramatically, without losing all of their excess weight/fat. Not quite what the OP was asking, but I like to point these things out where I can, because knowing that I could make an impact even if I didn't get as far as I have made such a difference to me in getting started at all.
  • bitshred
    bitshred Posts: 24 Member
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    BMI is a joke, at least for me. I have bigger frame. A few years ago, I was riding my bike 125 miles a week and weighed a little over 200. Some nurses came to my workplace, they went by the numbers and told me I was nearly obese. I was like "seriously"?, I mean my thighs were all muscle and I have a big chest. Had a little belly, but what a joke. They said I should be more like 175. I was that once, and people told me I looked too skinny, unhealthy. Anyway, I am now much heavier, and definitely need to lose like 30 pounds. But screw BMI, it's no longer used.
    No, I haven't read any other posts on this thread, no time. Have to go for a bike ride!