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BMI: only the first two letters are accurate

Monday, February 10, 2014

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. 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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Love this! Soooo true!
    1468 days ago
    1549 days ago
    This made me laugh. I definitely got a big butt and I know BMI doesn't take that into account. I have chesties too, and BMI doesn't account for those either. I think personally you'd look freakin weird if you were too tiny. Even now, you don't look big at all! Maybe I'll look awesome at 140 and then I won't have to go to 125-130. Fingers crossed!
    1554 days ago
  • KITT52
    I sure BMI says I should weigh low end 98 pounds and high end is 145...but when I got down to 135 I felt weak and had no energy...I found that i feel fantastic at that is my goal...I know my body....besides I am 61 years old and I don't want to feel weak....I want to feel strong and healthy....

    1559 days ago
    Totally agree.... I'm on the other end of the spectrum.... my BMI puts me at slightly underweight. NO ONE looking at me would think I'm underweight. In fact, I am even sporting a double chin right now. That's right... I am 5'5", 110 pounds and I have a double chin.
    1559 days ago
    ya, thats crazy! I SO hear you!!! Right now I've just fallen into the "overweight" category according to BMI @ 185. But my, BMI healthy weight is 115-154! (I'm five feet 6 inches) I can't even remember being in the 130's. Ever since I was 14 I was 150lbs--& then I was athletic/active, strong, etc. Sheesh, when I did drop to 140lbs, I was told --to never get that weight again...makes 115 sound like scariness! I stopped growing at age 14 .Between 14-22 yrs old I was in the 150's most of the time--so I think that was a natural weight for, like you, I have a goal weight on SP--175...but that is just 10/11 lbs away...BUT, I know my body won't possibly be where it should be. I have still have stomach/thigh fat to lose & muscle to I think I will just get to a spot where I feel & look healthy...but I do *like* having goals--just to help me keep movin! Ideally, I'd like to be 150lbs again. But I'm thinking I'll probably be good at 160...but, this body is a mystery! lol. So we just press on, make those healthy choices....and by and by... emoticon that strong & healthy body will come! :) emoticon emoticon
    1560 days ago
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