BMI is *bollocks.*can be bollocks.

Have a look at this.

The NHS BMI calculator – an online tool to help determine `if you or your child are a healthy weight’. 

BMI is the equation of measuring weight and dividing by height.

 

print out

Here is the ticket that popped out the bottom of the local leisure centre’s digital scales. You know the ones? Stand on, 50p, and it measures your height, weight and BMI.

This mirrors the results from the on-line calculator. My own BMI is 30 which (according to BMI tables) means I’m just over 2 stone overweight.

Ideally I should be at anywhere between 9.5 stone on the lower end and 13 stone pushing the other way.

You know where I’m going with this.  It’s not just the obvious flaws that come about when you `BMI’ someone who trains / a sportsperson or just someone whose muscles are dense due to pure genetics and mother nature. We’ll look at the easiest bit first.

same day

This is me on the same day as that was ticket printed.  Admittedly first thing, pre-poo and breakfast – but this is what overweight by two stone can look like, if one takes BMI at face value.

16 weeks ago, I began to take both my training and diet seriously. The starting point was 16 stone 3 lbs. That starting point was `obese’ when using the same BMI calculator. My previous post talks about – the use of BOD POD at Southampton Uni; determining what I already knew which matter of fact(ly) was being a bit chunky round the edges.

The flaws in BMI have been written about for years now. Here’s a quote from a super informative article published in 2013.

 

Body Mass Index’ biggest flaw is that it does not take into account the person’s body fat versus muscle (lean tissue) content. Muscle weighs more than fat (it is denser, a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat). Therefore, BMI will inevitably class muscly, athletic people as fatter than they really are.

A 6ft-tall Olympic 100 meter sprinter weighing 90kg (200lbs) may have the same BMI (26) as a couch potato of the same height and weight.  A BMI calculation would class both of them as overweight.

That calculation is probably right for the sedentary couch potato, but not for the athlete.  The athlete’s waist circumference, at 34ins, is well within “healthy weight” – if his height is 72 inches, his waist is less than half his height.

However, the sedentary person’s waist of 40 inches is more than half his height.

Christian Nordqvist

Most people who that have an interest in fitness and health are aware of the flaws in BMI – and `muscles weighs more than fat’ is a common statement of knowledge. So – we could simply state that BMI does not work well for the smaller proportion of society (who through what ever reason) are more muscular than they are fat.

But I need to show you another example of an overweight person. This is my own son Arthur who in this photo is about to compete in his first egg and spoon / hula hoop obstacle race. He is quite a big lad; a tad bigger than most of his classmates, but also the same sort of size as a few of the other boys in his class.

art

Arthur is five, and would appear to share his Dad’s BMI weight problem; his weight for his height is too heavy. According to the graphs and tables that accompany a visit to the local surgery for a check up – he needs dietary intervention to bring  his weight under control.

This is dangerous don’t you think? We have a commonly used yardstick measure that often provides a conclusion which is inaccurate to the actual body composition of the test subject.

So why is it still used? Well – in layman’s terms, it works for most people most of the time in a clinical assessment situation. On a macro scale, the very real probability is that if you are clearly overweight, then your BMI score will adhere to that – and in the UK as in most of the western world, obesity is a massive health issue.

I’m not talking about BMI in context to adults or children who are clearly overweight. Where in my opinion it needs to be ignored, is when you are eating well and are active and or exercising.  Anyone who has embarked on a `I’m a bit flabby and I’m going to sort that’ type of diet and fitness routine should avoid BMI.  We have eyes, we have mirrors – and for most of us, they will do a much better job in providing an instant assessment than a BMI score ever could.

Here are some more articles that are worth a read.

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