BMI = Bye Bye?

Omagh, Northern Ireland
May 17, 2012 7:12pm CST
If you're health conscious,the BMI (Body/Mass Index) would be familiar to you.If you're not,it's a calculation involving a ratio between your height in m. and your weight in kilos. It has been given a hard time for being inaccurate or misleading,say when comparing an athlete and an overweight person who might share the same "reading".. I read of a simpler to calculate factor that takes your waist measurement,(a more crucial indicator of obesity) and asks : "Is your waist measurement more than half that of your height?" If so,it's time you did something...if it's UNDER half,You're ok.. Margaret Ashwell,Nutritionist and obesity Expert,Co-wrote a paper on the effectiveness of this study that was presented to a European Obesity Conference this past week..have you wrestled with whether you had a "Healthy" BMI? Would this simpler method help more?
1 person likes this
9 responses
• United States
18 May 12
I think that is not only a far easier way to calculate but also far more accurate ... at least with the medical information they are giving out today, but then again that could always change tomorrow. Right now, medical professionals say that belly fat is far more dangerous than fat on other areas of your body, because it is an indication that you are at a much higher risk for a lot of diseases. Therefore, taking the belly measurement would be a better indicator of potential health risks than overall weight, especially if a person carries all the extra weight in the belly, for example.
2 people like this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
That's exactly the sort of circumstances the study this "Belt size" calculation was derived from came from..
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@topffer (29974)
• France
19 May 12
We should have find before that somebody rolling when falling down is perhaps obese. Seriously, I also find this system more logical, because you deal only with one sort of unity. The BMI mixes kilos and centimeters, and I have always learned that a ton and a kilometer where two things that you could not compare.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
19 May 12
You've just put a picture in my mind of that kid from the original "Willy Wonka" movie who ate something she wasn't meant to and ballooned out like a Berry,and the Oompa loompas rolled her away...
@djbtol (5501)
• United States
18 May 12
I seem to remember that when they first started talking about body mass index that they would see how much fat they could pinch on your side with a calipers. Might as well re-invent it again.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
19 May 12
I think if you were getting a full health check in this area nowadays,the calipers would probably still come out for measurement purposes..a more precise measurement..
@rog0322 (2834)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
18 May 12
Hi, I have cellphone with a BMI calculator using height and weight as the variables. As I see it, a person should be on the proper weight and height ration to be considered fat (obese),just right or thin. For example, a person weighing 75 kg with a height of 1.6 meter can be considered fat with a BMI of 29.3. Making some adjustments given the same height, the weight should go down to 60 kg giving a BMI of 23.44 which falls on the normal side. I can't figure out the formula here but I consider such weight too low for normal operations.
1 person likes this
@rog0322 (2834)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
18 May 12
ooppps, its "weight and height ratio not ration"
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
The BMI calculation is worked out by dividing your weight in kilos by the value of your height in metres squared. (so from your example that would be 75/2.56 =29.3.) The problem being,muscle is heavier than fat,so a fit,muscled person could have an "unfit" BMI! misleading...
@asdomencil (4276)
• Philippines
18 May 12
Some says that BMI is not that accurate of telling if a person is obese or not. Let say, if you are thin but lean enough you might have a heavier weight resulting so somewhat obese.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
Exactly.As obesity tends to show more in the waistline,if you're tendency is to be wider than you are tall,it's something to consider.
• Philippines
19 May 12
I think I have to check my waistline so that I will know if I am already obese. LOL. Good day!
• Singapore
18 May 12
So far, I have no problems with the use of the BMI, maybe because I'm not an athlete or overweight. I do see problems using the second gauge though. Our height is more or less fixed, but our weight may vary. What I'm trying to say is that if we wait until our waistline is more than half of our height, we are in deep trouble because every inch added to our waistline means much more than just that. It means that fats has accumulated not only at your waistline but all over your body. So I feel it's dangerous to only use that waistline measurement. Your discussion made me check whether my waistline was more than half of my height. Thus far, it's good. But I'm already very conscious about my weight and health. I don't think I want to wait for my waistline to be more than my height before I act. I'm trying to be more healthy and exercise to keep my weight down.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
I don't think waiting for the "reading" to be at a critical level is the idea..if you're not chubby round the middle and in proportion for your height,then you should be fine.It's people who are borderline obese this simpler method would be aimed at. The studies this was derived from had good results as an obesity indicator using this method. They've not given up on the idea of using BMI just yet,but a simpler calculation might help some people.
• Singapore
18 May 12
As you mentioned, the waistline indicator is probably meant for a targeted group (the borderline obese as you mentioned) and may not be for everyone. The rest of us simply use the BMI as a health indicator. It's easy to calculate and there are many online calculators to help.
• United States
18 May 12
I've heard lots of bad things about BMI being inaccurate to health as well. The only problem with this new system is that it won't tell you when you're underweight. Or at least, if it does you didn't mention it and I haven't bothered to go looking for the answer yet. Personally, I've been very thin my entire life and have never worried about being overweight.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
I'm getting the impression this one's more aimed at those who might be at risk of obesity related conditions-The article didn't make any mention of underweight..but I'd figure if your waist is way less than half your height,it would make you consider that too..
1 person likes this
• United States
18 May 12
Well darn, my waist IS way less than half my height. Since the article is aimed at risk of obesity, it's possible the inverse isn't how you tell what's underweight. Anyway, I shall watch these developments with interest. I hope BMI is thrown out as a health index because it's so inaccurate.
@GemmaR (8527)
18 May 12
I think that BMI is actually quite a good measurement to use. It gives people the indication of whether they're a healthy weight or not, and this is good because it means that people know when they have to lose weight and when they are healthy for their height. The only time that BMI doesn't work properly is if an individual has a high muscle mass, as they will be heavier than those who have a high fat mass but they would be healthier. Those people should be easy to spot though, as it should be clear whether they are coming back as overweight because of fat or muscle.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
As a rough guide,BMI would be ok..but this "Belt size" one is less complex to work out when you don't have to work in kilos and metres!
• Philippines
18 May 12
BMI is inaccurate? God, we did that on our class last semester since I have a HealthCare subjects. I tried to solve mine and the result is underweight. I can't even believe it. Thanks to the responses below that gave me comfort by saying it's inaccurate.LoL
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
18 May 12
BMI should be used as a guideline calculation only...the value can be skewed by how much muscle mass you have..the "Belt size" calculation is much simpler...the wider you are in comparison to your height tells the story..
@zhihao12 (364)
• Singapore
19 May 12
BMI is only a rough gauge for commoners without much health knowledge to estimate their current health status. It can never be accurate due to the fact that many things contribute to your health and to fully know your health status, you have to consider many different factors which is not easy for most of us. A guy with BMI 30 can be considered obese and unhealthy but in actual fact that is not necessary the case if you read about the latest research that states that you can be fat and healthy at the same time. But the chance of this is low which means that usually obese people are unhealthy in proportion as compared to people with normal size. Similarly, being slim or normal size does not indicate you are totally healthy. Despite that, BMI is still useful for its ease of calculation to so called know your current health