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  1. #1
    Registered User Sader762's Avatar
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    Why BMI is misleading

    Had a doctors visit today.

    My stats are 5'9 and 171 pounds and about 15% BF. My pic here is pretty current of what I look like now.

    The docs office had calculated my BMI at 26 which puts my in the obese category. My ideal BMI weight is 154 pounds, lol. To get there I'd need to loose 17 pounds and put me at 4-6% BF.


    BMI needs to go away, it is unbelievably variable from one person to the next.
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    On stage at 195 and about 6% I was still at 26 BMI (26-30 overweight), so it has no relevance to people who lift and have more than average muscle mass.
    Now I am obese at 230
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    I think BMI is pretty outdated at this point... This isn't new information, OP.
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    Originally Posted by Sader762 View Post
    Had a doctors visit today.

    My stats are 5'9 and 171 pounds and about 15% BF. My pic here is pretty current of what I look like now.

    The docs office had calculated my BMI at 26 which puts my in the obese category. My ideal BMI weight is 154 pounds, lol. To get there I'd need to loose 17 pounds and put me at 4-6% BF.


    BMI needs to go away, it is unbelievably variable from one person to the next.
    All BMI is for is people who do zero physcial activity. The DOC should know this already. When I got mine done I came in a 29.5, just .5 away from obese at 5'9" 200 lbs, even though according to the Navy I have 17% BF and am in Fit condition. Everyone who is athletic is going to skew the numbers and be way over.
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    It's astonishing to ever run into someone who thinks BMI is an accurate measure of health. The major problem with it, though, isn't that it's stupid and useless. The problem is that it has such a foothold that insurance companies use it as a standard measure. Those of us who've ever seen the inside of a gym are considered just as high a health risk as our co-workers who eat six boxes of twinkies for lunch every day when it comes to getting health premium discounts or life insurance.
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    I'm 5'9" 215 lbs at about 23% bf. For me to be back to a healthy BMI level I would need to get down to 165 lbs. That would be 0 % bf for me.

    That being said I am trying to get back below 200 lbs. 30 beers a week really put the fat on this past year.
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    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sader762 View Post
    Had a doctors visit today.

    My stats are 5'9 and 171 pounds and about 15% BF. My pic here is pretty current of what I look like now.

    The docs office had calculated my BMI at 26 which puts my in the obese category. My ideal BMI weight is 154 pounds, lol. To get there I'd need to loose 17 pounds and put me at 4-6% BF.


    BMI needs to go away, it is unbelievably variable from one person to the next.
    Wait what?
    I'm your height and just about your weight (hovering around it), and i'm at the borderline. between healthy and overweight.

    Although I do agree to a certain extent BMI is overrated, for a good percent over the population who is sedentary and don't lift (lack muscle), the bmi can be decently accurate.

    I'm 5'9" 215 lbs at about 23% bf. For me to be back to a healthy BMI level I would need to get down to 165 lbs. That would be 0 % bf for me.
    To be quite fair, unless you are very advanced in your lifting career that is a pretty higher weight for a 175cm guy. Then again, don't know. You may not be 23, may be more...not sure and can't evaluate with a pic.

    At 173ish or so for me i'm around 19%.
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    Registered User Sader762's Avatar
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    I know to many that weight lift the BMI thing is not a mystery. But to many, especially those that don't lift or are not active, they think BMI is actually an applicable medical diagnosis. My wife is a Family Practice doctor and understands this. We have talked about it many times in the past. She likes to use Arnold Schwarzenegger (young version) as a good example of why a patients BMI may not be a good indicator of health status.

    For many that are simply obese it is probably more accurate. But for people that are active, weight lift, day laborers, etc. BMI is much less applicable yet many from employers to insurance companies to the government use it.
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  10. #10
    Slicing up eyeballs ChiBearsfan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    Wait what?
    I'm your height and just about your weight (hovering around it), and i'm at the borderline. between healthy and overweight.

    Although I do agree to a certain extent BMI is overrated, for a good percent over the population who is sedentary and don't lift (lack muscle), the bmi can be decently accurate.



    To be quite fair, unless you are very advanced in your lifting career that is a pretty higher weight for a 175cm guy. Then again, don't know. You may not be 23, may be more...not sure and can't evaluate with a pic.

    At 173ish or so for me i'm around 19%.

    OP has it wrong.

    BMI of 25-29.9 is "overweight"
    BMI of 30+ is obese

    I agree, BMI works for most. If you are more muscular than the average person the scale doesn't apply to you.

    This is common knowledge, If your doctor's office isn't aware, I would be more concerned about the doctor you selected than the BMI scale.
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    Registered User Bcider's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    Wait what?
    I'm your height and just about your weight (hovering around it), and i'm at the borderline. between healthy and overweight.

    Although I do agree to a certain extent BMI is overrated, for a good percent over the population who is sedentary and don't lift (lack muscle), the bmi can be decently accurate.



    To be quite fair, unless you are very advanced in your lifting career that is a pretty higher weight for a 175cm guy. Then again, don't know. You may not be 23, may be more...not sure and can't evaluate with a pic.

    At 173ish or so for me i'm around 19%.
    Been lifting for 8+ years and just have good genetics I guess, dad's side of the family all have this build. At my peak shape I weighed 180 lbs and was 10%bf or less according to calipers by my school's trainer. Now I'm just going off multiple measure tests like the army one that put me around 23% which is in line with me being 10% or less at 180.

    Now I just have a gut from drinking a lot. Even then my waist size is 35 which isn't that large considering all things. Who knows maybe I am more but what I do know is I want to get back down below 200 again.
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  12. #12
    No Longer Look Like This InItForFitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sader762 View Post
    I know to many that weight lift the BMI thing is not a mystery. But to many, especially those that don't lift or are not active, they think BMI is actually an applicable medical diagnosis. My wife is a Family Practice doctor and understands this. We have talked about it many times in the past. She likes to use Arnold Schwarzenegger (young version) as a good example of why a patients BMI may not be a good indicator of health status.

    For many that are simply obese it is probably more accurate. But for people that are active, weight lift, day laborers, etc. BMI is much less applicable yet many from employers to insurance companies to the government use it.
    Unfortunately, these people are usually not located on a BODYBUILDING forum, and 99% of the members here are going to be aware this information is not really relevant to trainees with respectable LBM.
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    I don't understand how BMI gets so often misunderstood of what it is, let alone mistaken too in how to interpret it... It's just your height to weight ratio, so it's not like the number is what's wrong with the index. The interpretation is where lots of people apparently screw up since it is only validly interpreted for sedentary people. Your doctor even mistook a 26 for obese when technically this value in the 26-30 range would be interpreted as "overweight" not obese, even though neither term would obviously apply to the OP.
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    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sader762 View Post
    I know to many that weight lift the BMI thing is not a mystery. But to many, especially those that don't lift or are not active, they think BMI is actually an applicable medical diagnosis. My wife is a Family Practice doctor and understands this. We have talked about it many times in the past. She likes to use Arnold Schwarzenegger (young version) as a good example of why a patients BMI may not be a good indicator of health status.

    For many that are simply obese it is probably more accurate. But for people that are active, weight lift, day laborers, etc. BMI is much less applicable yet many from employers to insurance companies to the government use it.
    The BMI also does get quite accurate on the opposite end, when you are underweight. Underweight is actually indeed...underweight and unhealthy not bouts against it.
    For a good percent of the lifting population, according to lyle's research their muscular genetic limit may be somewhere around 50lbs...usually lands in the overweight category. Well eitherway...BMI isn't the best indicator of health, but the amount of muscle vs fat is not a clear indicator of health either.

    Originally Posted by Bcider View Post
    Been lifting for 8+ years and just have good genetics I guess, dad's side of the family all have this build. At my peak shape I weighed 180 lbs and was 10%bf or less according to calipers by my school's trainer. Now I'm just going off multiple measure tests like the army one that put me around 23% which is in line with me being 10% or less at 180.

    Now I just have a gut from drinking a lot. Even then my waist size is 35 which isn't that large considering all things. Who knows maybe I am more but what I do know is I want to get back down below 200 again.
    That makes sense then. I'm still pretty damn skinny at 170.
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    Registered User ErikTheElectric's Avatar
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    This is old news OP.


    Btw: It's lose not loose.
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    Originally Posted by ErikTheElectric View Post
    This is old news OP.


    Btw: It's lose not loose.
    I prefer to loose my fat. If I lose it I'm always worried it will find its way back home.
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    What's the point of this thread ?
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    It's mind boggling that this is even still practiced. This bull**** is the very reason I'm looking for a new doctor right now. I went in for a physical a few weeks ago. BP was 120/70, bloodwork came back perfect but the on the blood works papers that were mailed back to me he suggested that I should try and lost some weight. Half tempted to go back after my winter bulk and tell him i don't know what happened haha.
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    Obviously BMI is bull**** but I have a funny story about BMI. I work with this lady who is a bit over 50, and is not in shape and knows nothing about fitness or nutrition. Maybe 4-5 months ago we had someone from Kaiser come in and would take our BMI and test our BF% if we wanted to free, so we all went and did it. They test our BF% with some hand held machine that sends electrical currents through your body or some ****? Not sure, but it was clearly inaccurate as it measured me at 10% BF and then my BMI was right at overweight.

    I was then telling my coworker how BMI is bull**** and what not, and she told me how her results were the opposite - she had a good BMI but high body fat percentage. The funny part is she thought it was a good thing! The average person really doesn't know ****.
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    First a 26 isn't in the obese category its just barely into the overweight, I'm a 25.9 myself, and yea is BS but its always been something that was suppose to be used on populations where everything evens out NOT individuals. A population with a high BMI means its a fat population, unless its a population of gym goers.
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    has anyone mentioned that BMI is usually something that the nurse figures out while taking vitals. it gets dismissed at first glance by any doctor who knows what he's looking at. it's the most general but it gives doctors a place to start if you're average looking and overweight and are having problems that might be related to obesity. it's also infinitely cheaper and easier than you or your insurance paying for a dexa scan, so why not let them take their measurements, and just let the doctor tell you which are important and why.

    if your doctor is telling you you're obese based on his calculating your BMI, leave the doctor's office immediately and find a new one.
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  22. #22
    Registered User shaandel's Avatar
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    Red face The same here

    The same problem i had with doctor of company.
    My weight is 80kg and heigh is 175cm
    My BF is 10 -12
    He calculate my BMI 26 and overweight so i have to lose weight around 10 kg to reach 23 bmi
    That means BF of 5%
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