We finally got Obesity Panacea on ScienceBlogs! YAY!
Now. *squints eyes* I gotta question for Travis and Peter as a blogwarming gift
Whats the deal with BMI?
Weve talked about it a lot on SciBlogs, but now weve got some Real Life obesity/exercise professionals in the house, so I wanna get the usefulness of BMI clarified.
I am under the impression that BMI is a useful tool for Average Joes/Janes to monitor their weight. Is 150 lbs healthy? Is that weight okay if you are 5 feet tall? What if youre 6 feet tall? How is Average Joe/Jane supposed to know? BMI. Certainly regular body fat analysis, and VO2 Max levels and such could be better measurements, but not everyone has access to that sort of thing. BMI is easy.
What I hear regularly (and have already seen on Obesity Panacea), is Average Joes/Janes saying the BMI scale is useless because according to it they are overweight/obese, but they are as healthy as a horse! You know, The Rock is obese according to the BMI scale!
Average Joes/Janes are not 6’4″ 275 lb professional wrestlers on steroids.
I fail to see how BMI fails for Average Joes/Janes.
I consider myself an Average Jane. To be considered BMI ‘overweight’, I would have to gain 35 pounds. To be that weight but keep my current body fat percentage, only 5 of those 35 lbs could be fat.
There is no way I could do that without steroids. No friggen way.
To get into the ‘obese’ range, Id have to gain almost 70 pounds! Only ten of that could be from fat.
No way could I be considered ‘BMI overweight’ or ‘obese’ and still be as healthy as I am right now!… Unless I was on steroids.
On the other hand, 2010 Abbie is the same weight at 2004 Abbie… but Ive pulled my body fat percentage down about 10%. So there are points where BMI is not a helpful measurement.
But I think as a general measure for Average Joes/Janes, its fine.
But I am not, in any way, an expert on this topic.
So I would like to hear Travis and Peters take on this issue.