Friday, February 29, 2008

BMI Thoughts

I am perplexed at times by the BMI calculator. I am 6'2" and currently about 195 pounds. I wear a size 36 pants. According to the federal government, I am "overweight" and need to lose several pounds. The BMI calculator defines normal weight as a BMI of 18.0-24.9 (I am currently 25). The craziness is that if you look at the lower bound, wow, that can't be right. According to BMI I could be 6'2: and weigh 145 pounds and be "normal" weight. I can't imagine that -- if I weighed 145 I would look terrible, unhealthy and get blown over by the wind. So that makes me skeptical about the upperbound as well. I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on the accuracy of the BMI. I know a football player, athlete, etc, don't fit within the scale. But my weight isn't all muscle, and I don't know why I would be any different than what the target audience is for the BMI. Does it get less accurate for tall people?


  1. HI,

    just reading through for the first time...good god man, if you were to weigh 145, you'd be in the hospital...I'm 5'10" and certainly weigh more than have to be comfortable in your own skin, not by what some "BMI" says....

    Glad to hear you are getting out for your run through Central Park even with the snow and happy with your health and daily activity!!! Good on you!

  2. Hi! Found your blog for the first time too. Being a fellow NYC runner and an endocrinologist, I hope you won't mind me sharing my thoughts on your BMI question.

    In my professional opinion, BMI is very overrated and really does not give a good estimate of general health. It's like just using batting average to rate a baseball player or scoring average to rate a basketball player. BMI as a stand alone statistic isn't so good at figuring out "ideal body weight" More important is looking at body fat composition and where that fat is distributed in the body. Visceral fat (around the belly) is much more detrimental than peripheral fat.

    Just my two cents. Hope to see you around Central Park sometime.


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