There is a fun link floating around on the blogs here lately, where you can see how your BMI compares with the averages in other countries and globally overall.
"You're most like someone from Tanzania*
* Compared with other females aged 45-59 in Tanzania"
It kind of underscores the meaninglessness of BMI between the values of 18 and 30. Below 18 can be unhealthily thin. Above 30 is often unhealthily fat. But between those values it's really about body composition. The accompanying article illustrates this pretty well, actually. (Click the "See it in action" tab.)
There are 3 women featured.
- One is Obese Class II (severely obese, BMI 35-40).
- One is underweight (BMI 16-18.5).
- And the third, while she has a "Normal" BMI of 23, doesn't look like she has much muscle - reminiscent of the "skinny-fat" body type we hear about a lot.
My take on the whole BMI thing is that unless you're a linebacker or a bodybuilder or someone with an obvious lot of muscle, you want to be under 30. If you're not an extreme endurance athlete you probably don't want to be much below 18. Between those values it's about % body fat relative to lean muscle.
Here's a blog post I once wrote about measuring body composition:
And here's one I wrote about tracking changes in body composition:
All of this sounds kind of ridiculous, considering my Spark ID, huh?
When I chose that ID, however, my own BMI was 52.6 and I would have been THRILLED to get it below 30. I'm not sure I ever actually believed it would get there, let alone under 25.
In fact, the technical medical term for a BMI between 18-25 is "Normal."
So I coined my OWN term "Healthy" to describe a BMI between 18-30. Because I can, and because it makes more sense to me.
So right now what I'm most concerned about is getting my body fat back under 19% because I feel stronger and more agile there. And I like how it looks.
That means moar lifting and lotsa nice lean protein, consistently over time.