View Full Version : Article: Just because you're "normal" weight doesn't mean you aren't fat

4/04/2008 3:28pm,
Sorry, I rewrote the headline to make it more interesting. I'm sure this will be obvious for many of us, just thought it deserved some official study treatment.

Cardio-metabolic risk can occur at normal BMIs

Fri Apr 4, 2008 12:56pm EDT
By Martha Kerr

CHICAGO (Reuters Health) - Patients with a normal body mass index (BMI) can still have a high body fat content, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, a Mayo Clinic team announced here during the American College of Cardiology's 57th Annual Scientific Session.

Investigator Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez presented the Rochester, Minnesota group's findings on so-called "normal weight obesity" from a study of 2,127 subjects with a BMI in the normal range. BMI is the ratio of weight to height, which classifies people within a range from underweight to morbidly obese.

The study participants' body composition was measured and a full assessment was made of body size variables and cardiovascular risk factors. Normal weight obesity was defined as a body fat content higher than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women.

"Normal weight obesity appears to be highly prevalent," Lopez-Jimenez noted, "constituting more than half of the patients with a normal weight as defined by the BMI." Of the total 2,127 subjects in the study, 1,321 had normal weight obesity, while 806 had a normal body fat content.

The investigators also found that 13.6 percent of the normal weight obese individuals met the criteria for metabolic syndrome compared with 5.3 percent of those who had a normal weight without a high body fat content.

The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high blood sugar, high levels of the "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, low levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess belly fat.

Specifically, significantly more of the normal weight obese had a high waist circumference, elevated triglyceride levels, elevated fasting blood sugar levels or a diagnosis of diabetes, and other metabolic markers associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

"Instead of tracking weight and BMI only, public health measures to prevent heart disease might benefit more from measuring the belly or by assessing percentage of body fat as more reliable risk factors of heart disease," Lopez-Jimenez concludes.

4/04/2008 3:44pm,
The BMI is not a accurate way to messure obiesity. I am 6'2 and 225 pounds. At my physical test for Correctional Officer I was listed as obies by the BMI, so i had to get a doctors note. My doctor was very upset that they use the BMI, stating that while I was heavier then the average person my hieght, I was mostly muscle (I will be the first to admit I got a bit of a Guiness belly).

I was so embaresed to get the note untill I saw how mad my doctor was. He was telling me how even people who have little muscle, high percentage of body fat, and do ZERO cardio can still be listed within normal levels on the BMI chart. It seems this article only goes to show how flawed the BMI chart is, a fact I have come to find out, most doctors are already aware of.

4/04/2008 6:37pm,
well on a related tangent. I've been tracking my body fat as i've been exercising using an older model tanita scale i bought a whiles back. (http://www.tanita.com/IronManScales.shtml)

i've managed to lose ~5.5% body fat over the last 2 months while my weight has stayed constant 177-8 pounds.

i was reading the manual for the new scales Tanita has and they say you need to make sure all the numbers are correct. so i went and updated the stats on my old one, my age from 30 to 31 and height down from 5'6" to 5'5' cause im closer to the latter then the former. (the scale asks those and your gender and wether you are an athlete, which they define as someone who does 10+ hours of intense physical activity per week.. not me, i get around 3-6 hours)

well i just gained literally 2% body fat from that change and changing the stats back makes me lose the 2% gain. so electronic body fat calcs are stupid too.

last time i lost weight was from 200 down to 145 using just cardio. (2002-2003)

This time i was thinking maybe if i remotely enjoy what i'm doing to lose weight i can keep it up and the weight off.

anyways so from a tangent to 2 tangential questions:
1. wtf? i kinda dont care cause i'm sure it still would be 5% loss if i had made the adjustment earlier, but i kinda do, because how the freak do i know what my body fat is? there's no way im letting someone with a caliper near me.

2. i want to know from peopel who are really fit lean/mean mofo machines and around 5'5", what is your weight and if you know, approx body fat? at 145 i didnt have much physical strength. approx is fine, i just want something to compare to.

4/04/2008 6:43pm,
You know what I do when I want to feal depresed? I think about how much I weigh, and who I would have to fight in the UFC in my wieght class. That makes me want to work out harder, build more muscle mass and losse a few pounds, untill I look at the people I would have to fight in the next weight class. Then I just sigh and eat Hagen Dazz.