Is BMI relevant or is it a dated way of finding your correct weight

July 1, 2008 2:12pm CST
I watched a programme last night that got me thinking about something i've never even questioned. I have always struggled with my weight until I was in my early 20's then I found out a way that suited me and helped me lose weight. I'm a vegetarian so that's no meat, poultry, fish, etc. and I found the only way to lose weight is cut down on the carbs which I did. I lost a lot of weight and eventually got my BMI down to 20 which was half way within the normal weight range on the BMI scale. I'll take a little diversion with this discusion for those who might have not heard of BMI or just don't know much about it. Wikipedia have some great info on it so i'll link to that. Basically BMI (Body Mass Index) is a way of calculating if you are a healthy weight it's calculated by body weight divided by the square of a persons height. BMI is used worldwide. It's a scale that I would never thought to dispute even when I was at my worst. I became obsessed with getting mine as low as possible as at half way I was just as close to being overweight again than underweight. At the time when my BMI was 20 my riB cage and my hips were jutting out. My collarbone was prominent and my arms were as thin at the top as they were at the bottom (not quite wrists). I became obsessed with my bmi even though I'd had a physical at my gym about a year earlier when my bmi was just in the overweight range the bmi scale and I was healthier than most people that ate well and attended the gym regularly, my stamina was strong as well as my lungs. But the only thing I judged it on was the bmi scale! I was determined to get it down so I cut down my eating, lived on fruit, hard boiled eggs, fake meat slices and excercised before and after i'd eaten. I struggled to get myself down to a bmi of 20 and in the end it became too much and I ended up ill, lethargic. I'm a tall girl and quite boney but was a swimmer when I was younger and through my teens so I possibly carry more weight than most girls do anyway. Does anyone else rely on this? Do you think it's faulty? Maybe it's just dated. Do you think it's better to be judged as being healthy by what you eat, put into your body, how physically active you are than how much you weigh? I mean if someone was underweight, eating bad foods and unactive then they must be less healthy than someone is slightly overweight maybe 7 or 14 lbs but eats alot of fruit and veg and excercises regularly. I'd definately go with the overweight person here. According to this scale there are quite a few people (athletes, film stars) that look healthy, fit, well that according to this scale are overweight. I don't think i'll rely on this scale to tell me if i'm fit or not anymore!
2 people like this
4 responses
4 Jul 08
I've never had any real awareness of my own bmi tho' I realise now it's probably easy enough to work out. I've always been skinny and uncomfortable eating out at resteraunts but fortunately my friends don't go out to eat often. As a result of always being weird pokey elbow bone skinny I've never had any relationship with the scales you can use to assess yourself. S'gotta be about happiness in yourself first and foremost but then that o'course is the dilemma- happy might mean unhealthy and most of the time I reckon. I've always been interested in women based on their faces bone structure and smile and such but it's true that that ain't the way the male conciousness likes to put it, and I don't think any bloke completely disregards physical form in what they consider attractive. I don't think I'd be able to trust just the bmi if my weight changed at all as it is just some sum someone somewhere said was relevant. Anyone apparantly my windows driver just stopped responding so it must be time for a reboot.
@kun2349 (23381)
• Singapore
2 Jul 08
BMI is not really accurate.. Because it only calculates your whole body mass including fats and muscles.. BUt it doesn't shows if u are really over weight or not.. There are people with healthy BMI, but their body is made up of all fats, while some ple's BMI is over the average, but it's made up of muscles and heavy bones.. SO in this case, can we trust BMI?? I dun think so.. BMI is just on overall weight, but it cant judge if one is healthy..
@hezoid (2144)
1 Jul 08
I think it's important to rember that it's only 1 indication of being healthy and only 1 way of checking if you are a healthy weight. there are many occassions when it's been shown to be a bit inaccurate so don't take it as red. The fact that there is a fairly wide range of weight you can be and still be within your ideal weight shows that it's not an exact science. I guess like with all things you need to be sensible about it and apply common sense to usig the BMI as a guideline.
@snowy22315 (169446)
• United States
2 Jul 08
I dont know. I think it is the scale that most medical professionals are still using. Whether it is good or bad I do not know. I think tha a BMI of 20 is pretty low for a girl though.