I despise BMI. It has to be the most retarded concept that the medical community has ever concocted (next to scrotol leeching for ED issues). Most people are familiar with what BMI is, but to clarify it stands for Body Mass Index and is supposed to be a measurement of how much fat is in your body. The number spit out from its calculation is supposed to tell you whether you are underweight (dessicated), normal (scrawny), overweight (normal), obese (larger than normal), or morbidly obese (I’ll leave this one alone, I like the term “morbidly obese”). One definition is that it is the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body, but anyone with half a brain will tell you that it is BS. All it considers is height and weight; in no way does it take into account muscle mass, bone mass, etc., and has been shown to be increasingly inaccurate as height increases.

Here’s what BMI says about me – when I started tracking, I weighed 233 lbs. I am about 6’1″, so that gave me a BMI of 30.7. That means I was considered obese. I now weigh 226 lbs, and my BMI is 29.8, which means I am consdered overweight and nearly obese (30 or greater BMI). I will happily admit that I am overweight, but I carry it all in one place – around my midsection. I fit comfortably in 36 inch pants, so my waist is not that big. If you look at every part of me except my waist and stomach, my legs are solid muscle (and well-defined, if I do say so myself), and my upper torso and arms are fairly thick with muscle as well, and no body fat that can be seen. My wrists are small enough that I can touch my thumb to my middle finger if I grasp one of them, and I have small hands for my height (yes, that does mean I also have small gloves). No one looking at me would reasonably conclude that I am obese. I would describe myself as having an athletic build, while still needing to lose perhaps 10-15 lbs to have a flatter stomach.

Now, the height is a bit of a problem for me as well. Look at the following info from the 2004 olympic weightlifting category averages:

Height Weight BMI
5’2″ 123 lbs 22.5 (normal)
5’3″ 136 lbs 24.1 (normal)
5’5″ 152 lbs 25.3 (overweight)
5’7″ 169 lbs 26.5 (overweight)
5’8″ 187 lbs 28.4 (overweight)
5’9″ 207 lbs 30.6 (obese)
5’11” 231 lbs 32.2 (obese)
6’0″ 231 lbs and up 31.3 minimum (obese)

These are olympic weightlifters – their entire sport is built around having a craptop of muscle tissue, but according to BMI, they are unhealthy. Ridiculous, but if you think that’s bad, how about looking at a bodybuilder – one of those guys who has no identifiable body fat (many of them have in the 5-10% range). We’ll use one everyone knows, so you can easily look up pictures to prove this – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

At his height, he was between 5’10” and 6’2″ at 235 lbs. That means his BMI ranged from 30.2 – 33.7. BMI claims that a man with less than 10% body fat is obese.

It is a ridiculous system, and all it does is make people feel bad about themselves. One can only hope that the medical community wises up and dumps this pointless and insulting measurement system in favor of something more accurate.

In an ideal world, I guess…

Advertisements