Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
bepah
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Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by bepah » February 27th, 2012, 5:14 pm

I have always had a problem with the Body Mass Index. I do not believe it has any validity with respect to body form and unfairly penalizes those with more muscular masses. For example, I am 5' 10 1/2' tall and have lost over 20 pounds (from 248 to 220) since December 27th.

I was rated as obese according to the BMI chart. While I have dropped nearly 30 pounds and can erg at a sub 2:20/500 meter pace for over an hour again,...my BMI chart rates me as ........obese. BTW, I am 61 years old and had a stent put in my heart last March.

The Nutrition nurse at the VA lectured me about this ( I considered breaking her in half like a twig) but I feel that she is only spouting the dill.


Any thoughts?
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Drivetofast
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Drivetofast » February 27th, 2012, 5:26 pm

No I have had this discussion with several doctors. I'm 61 years old. I'm 5'8" weigh 185 Bench press 315 for reps Dead lift 425 etc etc If your waist has a lot of fat and your chest. Is what they are saying. Michael Jordon in his prime was considered Obese.Just stay in shape and don't worry about it.

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Citroen
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Citroen » February 27th, 2012, 5:27 pm

The trouble with trying to apply a one size fits all formula is that it mostly doesn't fit anybody.

http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmirefs.htm
http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/overweight.htm

There's a whole bunch of other useful pages on http://www.halls.md so worthwhile having a nose round thw whole site.

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Carl Watts
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Carl Watts » February 27th, 2012, 7:13 pm

No it's pretty much rubbish.

It doesn't factor in your body type and it's puts our entire All Black rugby team down as fat.

Something that is more useful is a tape measure round you waist and doctors here use it. Pretty much regardless if your a male then you don't want to exceed a 96cm or a 38 inch waist measurement from memory or your health risks increase.

The police test here involves a waist to hip ratio measuremnt and you need to be less than 0.9 for males.

If your seriously worried then get a body fat test done. You can still be a little overweight but fit.
Carl Watts.
Age:52 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
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jvincent
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by jvincent » February 27th, 2012, 7:14 pm

My wife worked at Weight Watchers for a while. At that time BMI was used to get target weights for people.

However, it was generally accepted that for most men BMI suggests a too light a weight and they always recommended that men get a note from a doctor with their target weight.

In my case, I'm 5'10" and recently lost a bunch of weight (thanks Model D!) and I'm now 182 lbs, which puts me in the overweight category. Nobody would call me overweight.

I would need to drop another 10lbs to be at the top end of "normal". 10 pounds lighter and I would look like a marathon runner.

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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Bob S. » February 27th, 2012, 8:54 pm

Unless you are muscled like a body builder, 220 is still an awful lot of weight for 5' 10 1/2". I wouldn't say obese, but you still have a way to go. If you do have a lot of muscle built up from resistance work, that's another story, but just rowing will not do that. I do agree that BMI is overrated and misused and I think that it is great that you achieved a 28# loss in just 2 months. I agree with Carl that a body fat test would be worthwhile. That gives a far truer picture than the simplistic BMI.

Bob S.

bepah
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by bepah » February 27th, 2012, 9:55 pm

Thanks for all of the replies. FWIW, I have a 35 inch waist, wear a 48 jacket, and I think I could stand to lose another 10 pounts or so, but am not in a rush to do so.

While I am not a body builder, I do have these heavy legs which I think were grown from too much ice skating, cycling, and rowing. I used to ride these silly ultra rides (500-900 miles) over 2-3 days and once I became conscious, I realized that I was wasting time out in the desert riding bicycles.

So here I am, 30 years later, being lectured by a Twiggie wannabe.......I guess I will just have to resign myself to getting to be an overweighter on the BMI scale and not seeing my designated VA diabetic nutritionist...... there are worse things, you know.
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hjs
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by hjs » February 28th, 2012, 4:13 am

bepah wrote:I have always had a problem with the Body Mass Index. I do not believe it has any validity with respect to body form and unfairly penalizes those with more muscular masses. For example, I am 5' 10 1/2' tall and have lost over 20 pounds (from 248 to 220) since December 27th.

I was rated as obese according to the BMI chart. While I have dropped nearly 30 pounds and can erg at a sub 2:20/500 meter pace for over an hour again,...my BMI chart rates me as ........obese. BTW, I am 61 years old and had a stent put in my heart last March.

The Nutrition nurse at the VA lectured me about this ( I considered breaking her in half like a twig) but I feel that she is only spouting the dill.


Any thoughts?
It does makes over a big population. And you are still heavy, the problem is we are so used at seeing overweight people that a normal healthy weight looks alien and skinny, but it is not.
What is your bodyfat mass? That is a important number.

But loosing that weight is a good thing, keep on exercising and eating healty foods. There is still plenty of room for improvent and its an ongoing proces that never stops.

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hjs
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by hjs » February 28th, 2012, 4:15 am

Bob S. wrote:Unless you are muscled like a body builder, 220 is still an awful lot of weight for 5' 10 1/2". I wouldn't say obese, but you still have a way to go. If you do have a lot of muscle built up from resistance work, that's another story, but just rowing will not do that. I do agree that BMI is overrated and misused and I think that it is great that you achieved a 28# loss in just 2 months. I agree with Carl that a body fat test would be worthwhile. That gives a far truer picture than the simplistic BMI.

Bob S.
indeed Bob.

bepah
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by bepah » February 28th, 2012, 12:04 pm

I will find a way to get my body fat % measured. When I go swimming, I still have trouble floating at rest which may or may not indicates how much body fat I have. Who knows, it may be incredibly dense body fat.

I am guessing now that my visceral fat is now reduced to a minimum and I am now reducing the subcutaneous fat around the belly. We shall see.

Thanks for the input from your obese rowing friend!
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It is quite exciting!

Bob S.
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Bob S. » February 28th, 2012, 12:17 pm

bepah wrote:I will find a way to get my body fat % measured. When I go swimming, I still have trouble floating at rest which may or may not indicates how much body fat I have. Who knows, it may be incredibly dense body fat.

I am guessing now that my visceral fat is now reduced to a minimum and I am now reducing the subcutaneous fat around the belly. We shall see.

Thanks for the input from your obese rowing friend!
A key point, Bepah. There is no such thing as dense fat and I've been told by a colleague, who is a specialist in body fat measurement, that the buoyancy test is the most accurate method. If you are not a natural floater you probably have a good muscle to fat ratio.

Bob S.

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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Snail Space » February 28th, 2012, 1:06 pm

Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

I certainly do. I'm an anaesthetist, and I regard a high BMI (especially when it exceeds 40) as more dangerous than many forms of heart or lung disease (angina, heart failure, asthma). I agree that not all high BMIs indicatee adiposity, but as a rule of thumb it is a good guide. Slim people don't cause many problems in my job.

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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by jvincent » February 28th, 2012, 1:35 pm

Snail Space wrote:Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

I certainly do. I'm an anaesthetist, and I regard a high BMI (especially when it exceeds 40) as more dangerous than many forms of heart or lung disease (angina, heart failure, asthma). I agree that not all high BMIs indicatee adiposity, but as a rule of thumb it is a good guide. Slim people don't cause many problems in my job.
It took me a few tries, but at my height a BMI of 40 is 280 lbs. Ouch! Unless I had lead for bones, I don't think anyone would disagree that 280lbs for 5'10" is obese.

But some people use the numbers blindly and at my current weight of 182 on my frame not even my wife thinks I am overweight. If I changed my training routine I could turn the extra 5 lbs of fat that I am still carrying into muscle and STILL be considered overweight.

I think that's the problem most people like myself have with the system.

bepah
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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by bepah » February 28th, 2012, 4:27 pm

jvincent wrote:
Snail Space wrote:Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

I certainly do. I'm an anaesthetist, and I regard a high BMI (especially when it exceeds 40) as more dangerous than many forms of heart or lung disease (angina, heart failure, asthma). I agree that not all high BMIs indicatee adiposity, but as a rule of thumb it is a good guide. Slim people don't cause many problems in my job.
It took me a few tries, but at my height a BMI of 40 is 280 lbs. Ouch! Unless I had lead for bones, I don't think anyone would disagree that 280lbs for 5'10" is obese.

But some people use the numbers blindly and at my current weight of 182 on my frame not even my wife thinks I am overweight. If I changed my training routine I could turn the extra 5 lbs of fat that I am still carrying into muscle and STILL be considered overweight.

I think that's the problem most people like myself have with the system.
My point, exactly...at least that is my opinion (which I rarely confuse for facts! :))
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It is quite exciting!

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Re: Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

Post by Snail Space » February 28th, 2012, 6:24 pm

bepah wrote:
jvincent wrote:
Snail Space wrote:Does anyone take the BMI seriously?

I certainly do.
It took me a few tries, but at my height a BMI of 40 is 280 lbs. Ouch! Unless I had lead for bones, I don't think anyone would disagree that 280lbs for 5'10" is obese.

But some people use the numbers blindly and at my current weight of 182 on my frame not even my wife thinks I am overweight. If I changed my training routine I could turn the extra 5 lbs of fat that I am still carrying into muscle and STILL be considered overweight.

I think that's the problem most people like myself have with the system.
My point, exactly...at least that is my opinion (which I rarely confuse for facts! :))
Yeh, why let facts spoil a good argument. :lol:

Hey, I merely answered the poster's question, "Does anyone take the BMI seriously?", by saying "Yes". I was careful not to say that I thought that a high BMI indicated undeniable obesity - it doesn't if the weight is derived from muscle. However, the great majority of patients with a BMI >40 have conventional adipose obesity, not a muscle-related artefact. Above BMI 35 it is called morbid obesity, for good reason, as the adverse sequelae of carrying too much fat start to show up as clinical manifestations.

Most practising anaesthetists can recount their experience of airway and breathing crises caused simply by obesity. BMI is the only summary description we have to warn us before we meet our patients. Clearly, not everyone with a high BMI is obese, but no-one is cliinically obese without having a significantly raised index. That is the extent of its usefulness - to raise the suspicion.

BTW, vincent, I calculate your BMI at 27, which is mildly overweight - no way near obese. In fact by comparison with me I would say that you must be a sleek, svelte, athletic adonis. Amateur! Go and ply yourself with beer, burgers, cakes and chocolate before you qualify to comment further on this thread.

Cheers,
Dave.

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