Why the BMI (Body Mass Index) Chart is USELESS

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Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 19

Posted: 09 Jun 2010, 18:05
I'll put my 2cents in. I was once a very fit person. (I'm working on getting back there) When I was at 190lbs I had a body fat % of 2.5% and the BMI showed I should be under 179 to be at healthy weight. Even at 0% bodyfat I could not have been under 185lbs. Add that up. BTW I'm 5'10" and at the time I was 18 and working out 6 hours a day in a wrestling workout.

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 148

Posted: 09 Jun 2010, 18:57
I think that the BMI recommendation should be taken as just that...a recommendation. We all know that 130 lbs looks different on a 5'4" couch potato than someone who works out 5 days per week. I look at it as a guideline, or an average. I know that I have huge boobs and wide hips so I'm going to be at the top of that guide as opposed to someone who has a small frame at the same height. If we didn't have the BMI there would be some other "guide" to tell us where we need to be and like it or not, I feel like we as a society need to be guided. I say take it with a grain of salt (no pun intended) and work with your doctor; you'll get where you need to be. Smile
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Joined: May 09
Posts: 195

Posted: 09 Jun 2010, 19:20
k8yk wrote:
It basically means that the taller you are the more inaccurate the formula becomes. I have also read that very short people have similar issues.

Hmm that could be why my BMI goal weights seem so low.

I have always kind of trusted the BMI scale untill i started thinking about how big i am now and how tiny i would have to be to be in the middle of the healthy range. as someone who is 5"1ish with a tiny frame no hips or bum to speak of and very top heavy i would look crazy if i weighed 110lbs.

the way i see it is i am aiming to get roughly down to a place where i am at least close or just into the healthy range which for me is 120lbs - both my mum and sister weigh less than this so it could happen possibly but i have decided not to use it as my only guideline. my PT did the body fat calliper thingy on me when i started and is going to do it again on friday i think i will ask her to explain it a little more so i can keep track that way too. Smile

you are the queen of good topics k8yk
I have a blog Smile http://thewolfandthefox.blogspot.com/ not super diet related but a bit!!

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 1

Posted: 09 Jun 2010, 19:57
Pencil me into the category of the OP. I'm just north of 6'6". I haven't weighed less than 225 since high school but have always been considered skinny (I was playing offensive line in football). I've been as much as 275 and now I'm back down to 235 after being 250 on 4/27 of this year. BMI says I'm still a fat a$$ but I'm feeling ribs and maybe getting a little too gaunt. It can certainly be hard to find a measurement or ideal weight target that works visually and physically for someone of my height.

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 15

Posted: 10 Jun 2010, 09:11
Wow I was just thinking about this the other day. My BMI goal would put me at 140, the "high" end. As I've been losing weight, I discovered that I'm actually pretty muscular. (Who knew I had this muscular frame hiding under all that?!) So, I was thinking that probably when I hit 160 or so, I'll say to myself "ehh, that's good enough."
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Joined: Feb 09
Posts: 2

Posted: 10 Jun 2010, 12:15
I have to make a statement now....I had a bout of anorexia and got down to the recommended B.M.I. for my height. (I am 5'1" and at the time weighed 100 lbs give or take 5lbs) In order to keep that recommended B.M.I. I didn't eat everyday, I think I ate a bowl of cereal once a week. Drank coffee and fruit juices the rest of the time. I am not proportional either, heavier on top since childhood. I did look rediculous but in my minds eye I was still fat.

Now I am fat (for real). Of course, that is why I'm here, but even my goal weight will still be overweight according to the B.M.I. I am not sure of an consiracies...but I do know it is very discouraging when these rediculous images and ideals are put out there that are not accurate!

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

Posted: 10 Jun 2010, 12:29
twinkleblue, thank you for sharing that.

I too had to do something very drastic to get to my recommended BMI of 160. I wouldn't say I had anorexia, but I was teetering. I basically ate 1 meal a day for a year to get that thin. And I still thought I was fat.

I think a lot of people, like myself before I was mature enough to understand the concept of a "recommendation", think the BMI suggested weight range means that at the top of it you're still kind of fat and the bottom of it is ideal. If I had gotten to 125 I would have been very sick, no doubt. But I couldn't comprehend that 160 wasn't a big fat cow on my body frame.

I get it now, but it took me 30 years to break free of the image I had that anything other than emaciated was fat and unworthy.
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Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 133

Posted: 10 Jun 2010, 16:27
PoSsibly think about the waist to height ratio chart, I think it's on web md, and its a lot more forgiving to athletic body types.

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 1

Posted: 20 Apr 2011, 03:16
I don't think the chart is completely useless since it gives you an idea of how much mass you need for a particular persons height. However, when it comes to health issues such as cholestorol levels in the arteries, the BMI chart can be of no use. The BMI calculator is probably of use to check whether a person is obese or not and it does help people with checking whether they need to lose of gain weight. bmi calculator

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 38

Posted: 20 Apr 2011, 18:33
klbarcaskey wrote:
PoSsibly think about the waist to height ratio chart, I think it's on web md, and its a lot more forgiving to athletic body types.

Yeah, waist measurements are a lot better indication of health.

Just to play devil's advocate: I'm pretty muscular and athletic and I have a large-ish frame (according to the fingers around the wrist test). I lift really heavy weights. I have very dense bones and in general look like I weigh less than I do. Because of all that I thought that the BMI ranges were totally off for me and that if I weighed much less than 145 (the very top of the 'healthy' range for my height) I'd look wicked skinny. But after getting in a bike accident and losing 10-15lbs to get to 135 (a rather significant loss at 5'4" ), I found that I looked slimmer but still had fat to lose and wasn't sickly-looking as I'd supposed I'd be.

I'm not accusing anyone here of doing that; k8yk, I found your "searching for a goal weight" pictures/posts really impressive in particular. Just suggesting that people don't use the BMI's occasional irrelevance as an excuse to stop short of a weight that they'd be happier at. It can also go the opposite direction and say you're at a healthy weight when you're overweight, if you have lower-than-average bone density/lean mass.

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