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Thread: BMI. Does it matter? page

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    lva's Avatar
    lva
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    BMI. Does it matter?

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    My BMI is a little on the low side, and some people (including my CW doctor) have told me to gain weight. I am fit and healthy, enjoy a wide variety of foods, and don't often get sick. All my instincts tell me it can't be helpful to eat when I'm not hungry to gain weight when I'm already feeling good.
    What is the consensus on BMI around here? CW BS or a good starting point to work out if your CI is enough?
    Would appreciate any advice or opinions. Thanks

  2. #2
    RittenRemedy's Avatar
    RittenRemedy is offline Senior Member
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    Body fat% is much more accurate, if it's from an accurate source (water tank or calipers). BMI is quick and simple, but cannot take into account build because it's just some guy's graph of what he though weight/height should be. It's good as a rough estimate, but not the be all end all.

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    eats.meats.west's Avatar
    eats.meats.west is offline Senior Member
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    BMI is a mostly useless old method. If you are eating a good Primal diet and are healthy and happy I'd just ignore the weight gainer folks. You will probably outlive them all. I think many people allow current obesity trends to influence perception of what a person should look like instead of a normal weight based on good eating.

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    BMI takes no account of body fat %, build or lean mass.

    If you are on the low side with reasonable body fat % for your age and gender you probably need to gain some muscle.

    Of course you may just be very small framed - but most people that don't lift heavy need to gain some strength and muscle

  5. #5
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    Bifcus is offline Senior Member
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    If you lose your menses you might want to seriously consider if you are underweight. BMI is a good rough guide as others have said, but not perfect.

    If people who's opinion you value are concerned, you might want to think about why. Are they worried that your ribs are poking out? Are they worried that your attitude to your diet is obsessive? Are they just used to seeing people who are much bigger? Don't just assume they are jealous. Your doc won't have worked out your BMI unless something else made him/her worried. Your family won't have worked out your BMI, so they are basing comments on something else. What's really worrying them? I'll gamble it's something in your behaviour, not just your weight.

    Is your weight stable, or are you losing? Are they worried you are anorexic?

  6. #6
    lva's Avatar
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    I am definitely small, and I do look thin, but I wouldn't think it was cause for concern. My BMI is still in the healthy range at 18.8. I still have my period. I do look thinner than a lot of people.
    I just wonder if BMI is actually referring to a 'healthy' range, or an 'average' of people who eat SAD.

  7. #7
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    zoebird is online now Senior Member
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    Well, largely BMI is used to understand a population, not really individuals.

    For individuals, it's one of many factors to determine health.

    My lowest (and still healthy) BMI was 18. I was doing triathlon training, eating plenty of calories, etc, etc. I was fine and healthy. My doctor did note that my BMI was low, but said that since I didn't have any other symptoms of being underweight, it wasn't a problem.

    My current BMI is 19.6. Body fat percentage is at 19% (I"ll caliper again today, but that's what it was last time). I'm quite healthy and everything is great.

    Even so, my doctor will tell me that it's the "low end of BMI" and such when I get physicals. But, it's not a health concern because I am healthy.

    ---

    And, it goes the other way, too. My son, age 5.5, is the size of an average 7 yr old (by statistics). According to his BMI, he's literally off the chart.

    But, the doctors never mention it. He's tall, thin, and muscular (you can even see his baby ab muscles!). he eats a lot, is very active, and very strong. He's bright and happy. So, the doctor flat out told us -- "his BMI is off the charts, but honestly, he's so healthy, I'm not worried about it."

    Obviously, if he showed up as a very fat little boy who was exhibiting all kinds of signs of illness, then they would definitely be concerned about that BMI. But, since he's a tall, thin, muscular, healthy little boy. . . it's no big deal.

    ----

    DH is a bit in the same boat as DS. Because he does his weight lifting, his BMI is currently 26 -- or "overweight." But, since he's 8% body fat and basically solid muscle and very healthy, the doctor isn't at all worried about it. He's in great shape, so he'll mention "the BMI puts you at overweight, but obviously, that's just muscle."

    But, most of DH's friends are same age, same BMI (or greater), but they aren't lifting weights or working out at all, so they are overweight -- BMI, body fat, etc. And while they may not be unhealthy, it's an indication that they are overweight, and that it could lead to health problems down the line (or not). So, fair warning, you know?

    ---

    So, honestly, "it depends."

  8. #8
    lva's Avatar
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    My feeling is that I'm healthy and fit. I'm thin, but not 'underweight'. Im not weak, or faint, or experiencing any adverse symptoms. If I put on weight naturally that would be fine, but forcing myself to eat just to put on weight seems really counter-intuitive.

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