View Full Version : BMI This, You Skinny Fucks!

08-06-2000, 02:45 PM
So I'm reading this very interesting article:


when I run into that stinking body mass index (BMI) chart again. It says that my (weight in kilograms) divided by my (height in meters squared) should be between 18.5 and 25 or else I'm fat. For all us non metric types out there, BMI in english units is about (weight in pounds times 703) divided by (height in inches squared). Since this time there was actually a calculator laying in the way on my desk, I figured I'd run some numbers through it.

Now I'm in reasonable shape but not particularly beefy for my height. I don't have any kind of endomorph frame. I work out regularly but I'm not any kind of steroid abuser and I'm not hulked out. At my current weight the chart says I'm fat. Well, OK I've got maybe a sixpack around the waist, but I'm not too far above my skinny weight; I can still wedge into the go/no go pair of jeans. The numbers I was coming up with looked funny, so just to check I ran my skinny weight through the chart as well. To me skinny means what I weighed the day I got a reading of 5% body fat measured under my ribs by a pro with calipers.

What the numbers say:

At the top end of the 'normal' range at a BMI of 25, that's about 5% lighter than my skinny weight. I could get there, but one good meal and I'd be 'fat' again.

The middle of the 'normal' range is round 14% lighter than I weigh skinny. I haven't been that light since my second year of high school.

A BMI of 18.5 would be nearly 1/3 less than my skinny weight. I'd be a bag of bones! My stomach would be rubbing my spine. You'd be able to count every rib, hip point, and vertebra. My joints would be bigger than my limbs. Yet the chart says I'd be fine.

Hello?? Now I'm assuming this BMI chart is oriented toward folks who are not in a famine zone. To me the normal range includes people who can't flash rock hard abs at will. Where do they come up with this shit? I fucking hope to hell my stinking Health Mafia Organization doesn't start basing their rates on this crap! I gotta think this chart is aimed more toward pixies? What, did they cornered Peter Pan with a tape measure and say job done? Did they accidentally include data from the world population of chipmunks? Did they even meet any normal folks before they printed that shit? WTF, over??

Mr. Cynical
08-06-2000, 03:22 PM
I still say the when the apocalypse comes, I will be cracking the ribs and eating the marrow of all the skinny people. With or without barbeque sauce.

Duck Duck Goose
08-06-2000, 03:27 PM

I dunno, Speak, maybe I missed something because I have my Tools set on Do Not Show Pictures, so maybe I missed a graph? But it looks to me like that version of the BMI they're showing is just kind of a freehand drawing. The real ones that I've seen are a lot more detailed.

You're sure that's not a Weird Url website? "The Obesity Bug" sounds kinda like those guys Cecil knows, Hans Neeson Boompsadaisy and the other guy, who are starting a home protection service using piranhas and those fish that swim up your wee-wee.

But it says New Scientist. Are they real people?

But why are you listening to these people anyway? So they make up some kind of chart that supposedly says what you "ought" to weigh? Who died and elected THEM God? According to the BMI, the Better Half here is 30 pounds overweight, but what they don't know is that he's one of those short stocky people with the huge heavy bones. The whole thing's a crock, if you ask me.

08-06-2000, 03:51 PM
The BMI is wacked both ways. It's damn near impossible to be normal. I know people who are normal healthy weights that are way over where they should be, yet at 6'3" I'd have to be something like 220 lbs to be normal. What's up with that? And I know at least three people who, according to BMI, are by all rights dead. Go figure.

08-06-2000, 04:04 PM
I figure I'm carrying 30 to 40 pounds more than I need. As you get older, That's liable to happen, especally if you're not working due to physical problems that also prevent much, strenuous excersise.

Once, I too was a skinny, little fuck.

I suppose that all the exercise machine ads should depress me, but they don't. Nobody stays beautiful forever (with the possible exception of the ladies on this board - how's that for a suck-up?). Sooner or later, at an age where they no longer much give a shit, they too, all but the truly fantical, may find themselves following their bellies around. Sooner or later, I will be avenged!

But right now, the narcissic pig-fuckers can't believe that the larger and more difficult days are approaching.

I've changed my diet around a bit - only have greasy pork with homemade pepper sauce on Sunday, and the tub-o'-guts is shrinking a tad.

So, all you Nautalas feltching, barbell scarfing, jump-up-and down idiots, leave me the fuck alone!

Hmm. Come to think of it, that Somers gal makes me wish my head was a Thigh Master.

08-06-2000, 04:23 PM
"So, all you Nautalas feltching, barbell scarfing, jump-up-and down idiots, leave me the fuck alone!"

Okay. I will. I'll put YOU on the ignore list! ;)

speakeasy BMI was supposed to be a better way than using the old Metropolitan Life height/weight charts. But, like any height/weight computation, it leaves a lot to be desired.

If you are concerned about your health, look at your resting heart rate, blood pressure and your overall sense of well being. Those are much better indicators of your health than just your weight or BMI.

There are a lot of supposedly obese people who are in fantastic physical condition. Their bodies just have what they call a higher "set point".

If you or anyone else is struggling with the broader concept of body acceptance I would suggest you get a hold of "Just the Weigh You Are" by Steven Jonas and Linda Konner. It will open your eyes about weight and fitness.

08-06-2000, 04:57 PM
the bmi chart says that i am slightly underweight, which i am. i happen to know that i am 8 pounds under my prescribed wieght (but my doctor said don't worry about it, so i'm not.)

shall i bend over and prepare for the ass-kicking of a lifetime? ;)

08-06-2000, 05:52 PM
I use this alot in my work, I score a 95 which means that I am just under the normal healthy weight for my height but if I take into account my fine bone structure and almost zero body fat I feel that I am okay. The software I use considers a score of 100 to be normal weight for a specific height. My blood pressure is usually 110 over 70 and my resting pulse is around 60. These are better indicators of how healthy I am.

If you scored 25 or 125 then what it is saying is that you are 25% heavier than what the BMI considers ideal weight. It does allow a certain degree of range in either direction for other factors such as bone mass. This doesn't mean that a person is obese. I work with a lady who's BMI is 135, she is a solid woman with large breasts and is quite fit.

08-06-2000, 08:03 PM
The odd thing is that I'm about 1/2 step from what the BMI considers "Starving, near death," yet I somehow manage to have a slight stomach, and a bit of man-boobiness. Although, when I bother to work out for a few weeks, I have a nice cut bod. :)


08-06-2000, 10:48 PM
I'm not as thin as I used to be, either, and I always got migraines when I tried to diet. So my doctor referred me to a dietician to see why I was getting them. Anyway, I asked him if I was overweight and he said, "Overweight is when you have enough body fat to cause health problems." He said that you can have visible body fat (to a point, obviously)and be in good health. Like I said, I'm not as thin as I used to be but he told me I have normal blood pressure, my cholesterol level is low and no heart problems (there were other health matters he mentioned), so I'm not overweight.

So I never pay attention to stuff like the BMI, or what the numbers on the scale say. If I did I'd be a wreck.

08-06-2000, 10:50 PM
shall i bend over and prepare for the ass-kicking of a lifetime?

Oh, lordy lordy, there are so many directions I could take this...

...but back to the subject. Yes, New Scientist is the real deal. Yes, the chubby bug may exist. But as I understand it, that's still no excuse for caving in with the Ben & Jerry's.

I'm not worried about my health. My rotten attitude, maybe, but the carcass is ticking along nicely so far. I guess I'm just dazzled that a group of supposedly educated people can propose to tell me my ideal weight range based on just my height. A friend of mine is within 1" of my height but only weighs about 2/3 as much. You'd think they would want at least a couple other measurements to get in the ballpark of your actual frame size.

But then what am I thinking. I don't know any normal people. Present company excepted, of course.

08-06-2000, 11:17 PM
This sort of thing always amuses me as well.

My whole family (well, my mom and sisters) have heavy bones, or something. When I was growing up, my mom was not fat. Not at all fat. Wore a size 10, (that's not fat. Perhaps not stick thin, but NOT FAT.) Yet she weighed something like 150 lbs., and was "fat" according to the charts. So she'd diet, starve herself, get down to 120 lbs., the weight the "charts" told her she should be. And she'd look so starving and ill, everyone worried about her, and would tell her to gain some weight.

Same thing with my sisters - they could weigh 150, 160, and yet fit into a size 10, and not look fat. Oh my gosh. God Forbid they weigh that much, but still fit into a size 10! It did not compute! My one sister remembers being weighed at a doctor's office, and having them check her weight over again - giving it a double-take. She couldn't weight that much! But she did! What do you tell someone who is obviously not fat, that they are fat anyway, because a "chart" says so? Do you believe your eyes, or the chart?

I am fat, but weigh far more than I look. I won't divulge my size or weight now, but a few years ago, I was a size 12 (once again, that's not thin, but not obese) and I weighed about 185! According to the "charts", I should have lost at least 60 lbs. But looking at me, the question would be - WHERE would this 60 lbs. come from? I guess if they cut off my ample breasts, that would help. But it was obvious that I did not have an excess of 60 lbs. 25 lbs., maybe, but that was it. So - what the hell? The whole thing is screwed up.

08-06-2000, 11:25 PM
As far as I can tell, the BMI is only good if you're of average height, weight, and frame size (you know, light, heavy build). Like me. I'm of average height, weight, and frame size and, appropriately enough, the BMI says I'm a 21.5. Now, give my a half a foot more height and I could look perfectly healthy and have the BMI say I haven't been eating for a month. Or take away a foot, make me stocky and muscular, and the BMI says I'm about to have a massive heart attack.

I prefer the system that takes into account reality, rather than a dream.

08-07-2000, 07:27 AM
speakeasy - don't worry, the BMI isn't implying you're fat.

It's implying you're dense.:D

08-07-2000, 07:42 AM
I think the thing says I'm about 120 pounds over weight.

It's ridiculous. currently, I'm about 60 pounds overweight(I weigh 280, at 220, I'd look more than perfect), I can handle that. But it claims that I'm so horrendously overweight that I can't believe it.

It's always been like this. When I got older, and realized the system was flawed, and at my fittest(which included varsity Football, wrestling and track), I was still at least 40 pounds overweight. And when I was at my most sickly 180 pounds, I was still a good 20 pounds over the weight chart.



08-07-2000, 02:01 PM
I really wish people would just throw their scales out the fucking window! All it tells you is your weight! That's it. It can't tell you a damn thing about your health. You'd be better using it to chart your astrological forecast! Or hell! Use it to get your lotto numbers!

You can be skinny as a rail and in very poor health. You can be as big as a marshmallow and in excellent health.

Again, much better to look at resting heart rate, blood pressure, and overall feelings of vitality.

Having been into fitness for almost five years I've worked with a lot of folks to get them healthy. (This is a very small side-line thing with me) But always, they whine about their weight. It doesn't matter! This one woman weighed like 140 and was just bound and determined that she should weigh 120. Why? Just because she was convinced that was the "magic" number.

She smoked. She drank. She wouldn't exercise. She made terrible food choices. But all she cared about was that "magic" number! After working with her for a month, I dropped her as a client. There was no point. I wasn't going to give her tips on how to starve herself or how to abuse laxatives in order to "push the food out". That's not what I do. I get you focused on health and she just didn't want to do that.

Sorry to spew and rant in here but this issue just drives me up a wall!

Okay, I'm going now. Think I'll go for a run and blow off the rest of this steam...

08-07-2000, 03:43 PM

Do you know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrme (PCO)? You just described me as a teenager. I am 5'8, weighed 178 and wore a size 10 when I was age 15-17. I have since gained more. Many women (and their male relatives who may be type 2 diabetic)who have PCO do weigh much more than they look like they do because of extra testosterone which allows for much greater muscle mass. The other symptoms include male pattern hair growth (beard, chest, happy trail), cystic acne, serious weight gain and often very quickly, and highly irregular or nonexistent menses.

08-07-2000, 04:23 PM
Yeah . . . I did the BMI thing a few weeks back and I'm like 22.5. So if I gained another ten or fifteen pounds of muscle I'd probably be considered overweight. My father is a 27.8 and much more muscular than I . . . so those of you who are worrying about this, they don't figure non-stereotypical bodytypes in this. I wouldn't take this with anything more than a grain of salt. IOW, fuckit. It's not worth your time.

08-07-2000, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by slackergirl
Many women (and their male relatives who may be type 2 diabetic)who have PCO do weigh much more than they look like they do because of extra testosterone which allows for much greater muscle mass. The other symptoms include male pattern hair growth (beard, chest, happy trail), cystic acne, serious weight gain and often very quickly, and highly irregular or nonexistent menses.

Hmmm....thanks for telling me about that. I don't think myself or my family fits the profile, exactly, though. We have regular menses, weight gain was related to eating habits (as was weight loss) and no male pattern hair growth. Or if any of us have it, it's a really mild case (if there is such a thing.)

I hasten to add, I have really, really clunky bones. Thick ankles, thick wrists. I always fit the "big frame" qualification, when that is taken into account. My sisters and mom also have the thick ankes (but not as much as me.) It's just that our set "normal" weight was higher than the "charts" said they should be. But screw the damned charts!

The Mermaid
08-07-2000, 09:01 PM
Yet another "I used to be" story. When I weighed 150 lbs, I wore a 9/10 in jeans. I had a 25 inch waist firm breasts... ah but I digress. I had a body fat analysis done at that time and was told it was about 35%. That was many moons ago. I have no desire to have a BMI calculated. I weigh about 40 lbs more now and I am 400% happier. b/p 110/58, pulse 60, head-definately screwed on right. When I was obsessed with losing "just a few more pounds" I was miserable and neurotic because I was worried about what people thought when they looked at me. Now I just say screw em, and eat the damn pie WITH ice cream, thank you very much. And guess what, I still look fabulous. My only flaw as I see it is my bad temper (see Straight Dope Bar Fight) Hey! What are you looking at?

08-08-2000, 01:14 AM
According to http://cc.ysu.edu/~doug/hwp.cgi my BMI is 29, and I should weigh at most 194, no less than 155! I would be dead if I weighed 155.

I lift. I'm 6'2", 224 lbs. My body fat, last time it was measured, was 15%, about normal for man of 35. I'm a little less lean, now, but not much. I may be 16-17%. Either way, I'm far from overweight!

This site, http://caloriecontrol.org/bmi.html, has a bit more info, but says much the same with the addition of a waist size measurement (that in no way allows for height differences!). If your waist is over 40", guys, and your BMI is over 25, your days are numbered. (Mine is only 36", whew!)

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