Time for another quickie blog talking about an older article. This time, an NPR story from 2009 about BMI:
So if your weight goal happens to be based on a low "normal" BMI and you get down and depressed about it on a regular basis, always remember:
The BMI is nothing but B.M.
Case in point: ME. Am I overweight? Yes. Significantly. But I'm getting there. This little thing about the BMI honestly has nothing to do with my current weight. I'm obese and I'm working on it.
But let's look at a few different things involving me. First, there's my "goal weight" on my SparkPeople account. I picked 172 pounds but honestly I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO IDEA what my goal weight will end up being. I won't know until I get there. I picked 172 because that's the absolute HIGHEST weight for my height that is considered "normal" using the BMI. If I had to make a prediction, when I'm at my "goal" and I'm looking freaking awesome with a small stomach and nice, toned muscles, I will NOT be 172 pounds.
The BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in centimeters. So...it uses weight and height. It doesn't use body fat percentage. It doesn't use proportion of lean muscle mass. It doesn't factor in that maybe you have a petite frame, or maybe you inherited your Aunt Madge's big booty.
So, if the highest normal weight for my height using the BMI is 172, what's the lowest? Oh, you're in for a real treat! The lowest would be...wait for it...129 pounds. Pretty insane, don't you think? The average of those two weights is 150 pounds. So let's say for a minute that I was somehow able to attain a weight of 150 pounds. I haven't been that weight since I was 14 years old, before I stopped actually growing. If I were 150 pounds now, I can guarantee that my friends and family WOULD BE STAGING AN INTERVENTION FOR AN EATING DISORDER.
The lowest I've weighed as an adult was about 167 pounds when I was 19 years old. If you don't want to count 19 as old enough to really have an "adult" body, then the next lowest was about 185 pounds about 9 years ago. At 185, I wasn't fat. I could have probably done with a few extra pounds of muscle and a few less of fat, definitely, but I wasn't fat. Yet the BMI says that I needed to lose about 13 pounds to no longer be "overweight". Hogwash.
So again, please, always remember: the BMI is nothing but B.M.