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  1. #1
    Nihonto's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Are BMI calculations complete B.S.?

    I am 5'9" and walk around at 175 lbs on an average day. I would not be considered heavy if you were to look at me, maybe slightly muscular. When I lift weights my 1RM values are around intermediate (+/-) depending on the lift - according to this: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html
    I can also run a few miles with no problem at all or roll in my BJJ class for an hour without a real break.

    According to available BMI calculators I am "Overweight" and have an increased risk of kicking the bucket: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/heal...=175&inches=69

    According to the same standards if I weighed 125 lbs I would be considered a "Normal" adult.

    WTF??? I am pretty sure I would die from trauma due to a brisk wind if I weighed 125. Do healthy adult 5'9" males really walk around at 125?

    And why don't most BMI calculations take sex into account? Female and male BMI should not be the same. IMO this is dangerous misinformation, and BMI numbers should be completely ignored unless you are not physically active at all.

    Or maybe I'm just a fat ass in denial ...
    Last edited by Nihonto; 9/01/2008 11:26am at .

  2. #2

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No. BMI's for athlete's are bullshit. I know this because it would state that some power lifters are morbidly obese

  3. #3

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    BMI is an unreliable indicator of health for those who do more than the bare minimum of exercise, to improve its accuracy in the uk people are starting to combine this with waist size.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_...al_index.shtml

    I am just over 6' and weigh about 190 so I am considered overweight using just the BMI but taking into account my waist (33-34) I am doing ok.

    I still find this system leaves a lot to be desired though, if you want to know how fat/unhealthy you are go to the doctor and get them to measure your body fat percentage etc.

  4. #4
    Scott Larson's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My height and weight are pretty close in proportion to you(5'8" 160lbs.), and I am DEFINATELY not a fat ass.(See profile pic)

  5. #5
    Slipping coal into stockings with a little sumptin for mom.
    HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    BMI's are a useful measure for people who have a reason to be concerned about whether their weight is appropriate. Athletes or people who train like them are generally past that point. Unfortunately the measures to get an accurate body fat % are expensive and not exactly portable (impedance and calipers both suck). So BMI is a useful guideline.

    Also, as you join the senior brigade, weight is probably a small risk factor independent of composition. But that depends on the study.

  6. #6
    Nihonto's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Found this ... Probably more relevant than any BMI

    http://www.csgnetwork.com/bodyfatcalc.html

  7. #7
    Slipping coal into stockings with a little sumptin for mom.
    HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nihonto
    Found this ... Probably more relevant than any BMI

    http://www.csgnetwork.com/bodyfatcalc.html
    Body fat percentage is more relevant than BMI. But as I said, the only ways to measure body fat percentage accurately require expensive non portable equipment. Waist ratios are laughably bad measurements. I wish I was 8%.

  8. #8

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What's your waist size, Nihonto?

  9. #9
    Judah Maccabee's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You guys have to keep in mind the viability of BMI from a public health standpoint rather than an individual case-by-case basis.

    Just about everyone who goes to a doctor's office gets their height and weight measured. It's a statistic that is frequently documented, inexpensive, and easy to compare to other people.

    By and large, the United States is a sedentary population. The "2000 calorie a day" dietary recommendations indicated on food packaging and by government agencies is a number meant to keep a sedentary adult from putting on weight. So the number is scaled for the largest number of people possible. It's not a number for growing children, pregnant women, the elderly, the athletic, etc.

    The same goes for BMI. The number is a good device on a widespread level, but in more individual cases, it breaks down. There are multiple means of assessing adiposity (fancy word for FATNESS), and BMI is the cheapest and easiest, and like anything cheap and easy, you don't get the best results.

    More accurate measures like calipers, Bod-Pod air displacement, water-displacement, or DEXA scans require specialized equipment, training, and money to use, and their efficacy is variable.


    ---

    Nihonto, an adult woman at 5'9, 125lbs would be very thin and bordering on underweight, but still healthy. However, the number of women who naturally have this physique is relatively low.

    Adult male at 5'9, 125lbs, still feasible, not common, and bordering on unhealthy.

  10. #10
    Nihonto's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesai
    What's your waist size, Nihonto?
    waist is 31-32 depending on before vs. after lunch ...

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