BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 pm

datanerd wrote:That said, being an average kinda white guy, I'd be deluding myself if I tried to convince myself that I was "big boned" or something to the extent that I fall outside the "norm" that BMI is based on.

The cry of "big boned" used to be used far too often as an escape route. Still is but I think less so.

In a similar vein, so often when I get a small injury or pain (and I get a fair few as I age) some of my aged peers used to be quick to associate it with my higher than average life of sport and weights and exercise and activity. After years of suffering this self-serving tripe I have had some success in attitude change by asking who do they call when something heavy has to be dragged down from the roof? Not their kids! Old injury prone, "too-much-sport"/"time-to-take-it-easy-like-me" Colin. I just state the obvious - that with my niggles I am still more functional and will likely remain that way and next time they need to lift something heavy they had better call me rather than try it themself.

Big boned seems to be stem from a need to justify their own shortcomings. They do not seek out better available assessments.

End of rant.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby dynamictiger » Sat May 12, 2012 8:36 pm

toolonglegs wrote:How can you have a 6 pack some days of the week at 23% body fat?.
You obviously aren't a competitive cyclist so you must be doing gym work or something else sport wise for training to be putting on muscle?.


Yes, you are correct. Cycling is part of my overall fitness program not my main fitness tool. My main fitness tool is swimming in a competitive sense. Although I have only recently re-entered training so only doing between 800m and 3500m depending on the day and energy levels.

vander wrote:You cant be 23% and have abs. It is well outside the normal range.

About 10-12% is when you stat to see abs, so maybe get it tested again.


It does not surprise me I am outside normal range. I was born in NZ and there babies are visited regularly by a nurse it is called Plunket Nurse. Somewhere I have my Plunket book where they record weight, length and so on from birth. It is a very amusing read. The averages are plotted on the graph and my results are either just on the chart or if not start on the chart and are more or less vertical in their plot.

wombatk wrote:For that, you need to work out what is making your body switch from fat-stripping to muscle building every alternate few weeks. Do you slack-off your exercise for those, and them ramp it up for a few weeks ? Or is the food-intake changing, or is it both ? Did it do that for all those years it took you to get from a 3 kg bub to your present 115 kg plus state, and if it didn't, what changed ?


I weighed more than 3 kgs at birth. My birth weight was near enough 6 kilograms. Maybe my BMI was too high then too?

I never used to weigh myself anywhere near as much as I do now so I would not have any clue how my weight gained over the years, other than as mentioned above. And in addition I have weighed more than the BMI weight since about age 8 from what I can recall.

As for my shifting weight you are probably correct some of my exercise regime is dictated by work and family commitments other than when preparing for a race I am not too worried if I have to change my pattern this week and next.

vander wrote:Another thing to note if you are tested with calipers there is a bit of error with them it very much depends on the skill of the tester.


No I tested with an electronic scale thing, same as my nutrionist used and this gives this reading. Calipers give a slightly lower reading than the scales.

wombatk wrote:If you want to go down such a path, most accredited dietitians are experts at skin-fold tests, as are a other allied health specialists such as exercise scientists and sports physio's. And they cost rather less than consultations with doctors, and generally have much more time to spend with you and explain the messages fully.


Thanks for the suggestion. I have been under a nutrionist last year and this is the result of the weight I lost under their system. I have been on my own sense about november and am getting to the point where I may go .

I sort of surmise my body fat percentage may be higher as I use swimming as my main sport and suspect I would need a slightly higher body fat due to this.

ColinOldNCranky wrote:If you have a swimming pool try floating for a minute. I had great difficulty in passing that bit of my swimming silver medal when I was young and a rippling gymnast. I am tempted now to try it again, confident that I would still find it difficult. Most of my friends did not have the same difficulty and regretably they would have even less difficulty now.


Interesting thought this. I will comment I actually have issues with backstroke as I seem to have trouble staying afloat on a pool.

ColinOldNCranky wrote:The cry of "big boned" used to be used far too often as an escape route. Still is but I think less so


Sorry Colin but I suspect I really am big boned as it was originally intended to be meant and used. I am very very close to turning side on to get through a normal doorway as my shoulders touch both sides.
However bringing back to topic regardless of appearance of abs, sports used to achieve and maintain fitness the BMI in my specific case is clearly flawed and this was the point of my original post.

Some folks become zealots in respect of BMI and frankly I find it amazing. As I originally said the assumption is that for a specific height a human will weigh a specific amount. The problem I see with this model is that it is like saying a pool of 6 metres length will always contain 10,000 litres. If I told you this you would tell me I am being silly and making assumptions I cannot and do not know.

This brings about an observation and concern.

I have noticed the younger generation coming through who are around my height are at most half my width. I do not believe they were all genetically disposed to be this body type, although perhaps many of them are. I wonder whether when we were at school we were taught about mesomorph, endomorph and so on body types has this disappeared and been replaced by BMI making any lad my size feel ostracised leading to a situation where they are not being allowed to develop?
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby vander » Sat May 12, 2012 10:54 pm

dynamictiger wrote:
vander wrote:You cant be 23% and have abs. It is well outside the normal range.

About 10-12% is when you stat to see abs, so maybe get it tested again.


It does not surprise me I am outside normal range. I was born in NZ and there babies are visited regularly by a nurse it is called Plunket Nurse. Somewhere I have my Plunket book where they record weight, length and so on from birth. It is a very amusing read. The averages are plotted on the graph and my results are either just on the chart or if not start on the chart and are more or less vertical in their plot.


Ok you clearly dont get me here if you are 23% body fat that fat has to be somewhere. So by outside the normal range I mean you must have arms with the fat content of my grandma and a waist with not much on it at all. If you are 23% body fat the fat has to be somewhere! Are you only defined in your ab region maybe that is why. I would highly doubt these numbers being correct.

dynamictiger wrote:
vander wrote:Another thing to note if you are tested with calipers there is a bit of error with them it very much depends on the skill of the tester.


No I tested with an electronic scale thing, same as my nutrionist used and this gives this reading. Calipers give a slightly lower reading than the scales.

This makes sense as the electronic scales are useless. Anyone that uses them is waisting your time the list of things that you have to do to get an accurate reading is about a page long and includes things like not eating or drinking for very lengthy amounts of time. They make BMI look like a genius invention. The numbers they give out are to be completely ignored. If done properly skin folds are not bad but still have a lot of error.

EDIT: out of curiosity I jumped on my electronic scales that have that and I got about 25% (AT) 82kg this is not even close to right.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat May 12, 2012 11:03 pm

dynamictiger wrote:Interesting thought this. I will comment I actually have issues with backstroke as I seem to have trouble staying afloat on a pool.

I hav eissues too - buggered shoulder precludes back for about the last seven or eight years. Regrettably so.

ColinOldNCranky wrote:The cry of "big boned" used to be used far too often as an escape route. Still is but I think less so

Sorry Colin but I suspect I really am big boned as it was originally intended to be meant and used. I am very very close to turning side on to get through a normal doorway as my shoulders touch both sides. [/quote]
I do not dismiss big boned. I only question (criticise?) the ease with which people run to it. Too often the wrong people.

If you are southern italian you will likely be three axe handles across the shoulder and very short and not an ounce of unnecessary fat but with a BMI indicating obese. Big boned may not be the croc 'o ... that it is for others.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Comedian » Sun May 13, 2012 7:04 am

Personally...
-I think BMI is an excellent guide.
-It gives such a large range that people of all body types can easily be within it.
-People in our society have forgotten what a health specimen looks like... and that includes doctors.
-Most people that think BMI is not applicable to themselves are just living in denial.

These thoughts are brought to you by someone who has lived his whole life from teenager on as someone who was "Big Boned" and who BMI could never apply to.

Within two years of starting cycling I have moved from being (186cm) 108kg through to 76kg. On the BMI scales that's 31.2 (Obese class 1) to 21.9 (Healthy!). This has transformed my life... I am now infinitely healthier and know that I have far less chance of getting so many of the lifestyle diseases that are so prevalent in our society.

Having said that... If people are happy being overweight ... that's great. Good for them. Just don't bag the BMI scales as a justification for why you think you aren't over weight.

Visual example of what being overweight means to your body.

"Big Boned"
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"Big Boned" hold the fat.
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Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby wombatK » Sun May 13, 2012 2:14 pm

dynamictiger wrote:
ColinOldNCranky wrote:The cry of "big boned" used to be used far too often as an escape route. Still is but I think less so


Sorry Colin but I suspect I really am big boned as it was originally intended to be meant and used. I am very very close to turning side on to get through a normal doorway as my shoulders touch both sides.

You may well be big-boned - very recent preliminary research suggest that overweight people may develop larger femurs in order to support their excess weight, as well as changes to their gait (see Are the overweight really big boned). It's possibly an adaptation to being overweight - and far from a justification for considering yourself not overweight or not obese.

All too often, overweight children are placated by parents telling them they are big-boned, not overweight. Should be booked for
child abuse for running that line IMHO.

Many elite short-distance swimmers have very well muscled shoulders. Nevertheless, if you really have bodyfat around 23% (per skin-fold tests), we've got to wonder where you're hiding it all. But you don't have to wonder - the individual skin fold measures should give you a really good clue. In the meantime, a 23% BF reading suggests there's more than big bones needed to explain why BMI doesn't seem to be right for you.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Redbull » Sun May 13, 2012 4:01 pm

Comedian wrote:Personally...
-I think BMI is an excellent guide.
-It gives such a large range that people of all body types can easily be within it.
-People in our society have forgotten what a health specimen looks like... and that includes doctors.
-Most people that think BMI is not applicable to themselves are just living in denial.

These thoughts are brought to you by someone who has lived his whole life from teenager on as someone who was "Big Boned" and who BMI could never apply to.

Within two years of starting cycling I have moved from being (186cm) 108kg through to 76kg. On the BMI scales that's 31.2 (Obese class 1) to 21.9 (Healthy!). This has transformed my life... I am now infinitely healthier and know that I have far less chance of getting so many of the lifestyle diseases that are so prevalent in our society.

Having said that... If people are happy being overweight ... that's great. Good for them. Just don't bag the BMI scales as a justification for why you think you aren't over weight.



+1

I am a Kiwi and a plunkett baby as well. I also played a bit of rugby - at the Blair Institute we all measured (including Auckland provincial and All Black players) for endurance, strength and fat.

Seriously if you had a fat percentage higher than 12% - you were fat, no if's, but's or maybes and there were some pretty handy props and locks running in the high teens/early twenties.

I was according to the BMI scale obese - 194cm, 117kgs and a measured body fat of 9.2%. However I had arms that wouldn't fit in shirts, a neck of 51cm and legs that were too tight in jeans in the thighs and too loose in the waist. I was "improved" to specifically play rugby. Abs in general didn't start being really noticeable on guys till they started getting around 6-7%.

Now I weigh 102kgs and probably have a higher fat %. Saying that I can find clothes to fit even if I can't lift a 50 litre beer keg up on to my shoulder (seems sort of pointless these days).


BMI is a very good indicator of the general european originated population - within that population there is going to be both sides of the bell curve and people with a high proportion of muscle mass who will not fit in.

If you are 23% body fat then you are nearly a quarter of your mass in fat - sorry dude you are fat. I'm not having a crack (I've been there) it's just the facts.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby dynamictiger » Sun May 13, 2012 4:30 pm

Rebull wrote:If you are 23% body fat then you are nearly a quarter of your mass in fat - sorry dude you are fat. I'm not having a crack (I've been there) it's just the facts.]


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Perhaps before we get too caught up on this I should point out I am 50 years old. Most of the body fat charts I have seen show I am somewhere on the bottom of average for my age. I can understand [posters suspecting I am 30 or something in which case you would be correct at 23%. I don't have a lot of weight to lose to get to the ideal range, and I suspect as has been mentioned due to the scales being my main method of measurement their accuracy is a bit suspect.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby toolonglegs » Sun May 13, 2012 4:41 pm

Those electronic scales are to be taken with a pinch of salt... the one thing they are possibly good for is comparing week to week but I wouldn't take their fat % as gospel.
I am also a 6foot4inch rugby player and a plunket baby (still have the books somewhere), I was always on the edge of the plunket charts. I was around 110kgs when playing rugby and had very little fat, 20 years later after suffering a back injury in middle age I was 110kgs with a lot of fat...these days I am just in the healthy BMI range at 95kgs but would like to drop back to where I was in 2000 in the 80's... 82.5kgs to be exact... :D .
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Comedian » Sun May 13, 2012 4:49 pm

dynamictiger wrote:
Rebull wrote:If you are 23% body fat then you are nearly a quarter of your mass in fat - sorry dude you are fat. I'm not having a crack (I've been there) it's just the facts.]


Image

Perhaps before we get too caught up on this I should point out I am 50 years old. Most of the body fat charts I have seen show I am somewhere on the bottom of average for my age. I can understand [posters suspecting I am 30 or something in which case you would be correct at 23%. I don't have a lot of weight to lose to get to the ideal range, and I suspect as has been mentioned due to the scales being my main method of measurement their accuracy is a bit suspect.


I'm sorry mate. According to the Wikipedia entry athletes... of which you consider yourself one have a range of 6-13. Granted you're a little older so you would want to carry maybe a percentage point or two more.. Granted the scales aren't super accurate but at 23% you're carrying a lot more than you need. It's likely hidden around all your body cavities and abdomen next to your organs .... precisely the worst place for it.

When we got our body % scales I'm pretty sure the first reading for me was 23%... and I think I was about 15-20kg heavier than I am now. At the moment I'm happy, healthy, and in the lower part of the BMI range and around 14% body fat (according to the scales). All good. :)

If you're happy with where you are that's fine. If your doctor is too... then GREAT! :) But maybe your energy is better spent working off those excess kg than arguing with people on the internet about how BMI is rubbish and someone with 23% body fat is lean as! Sorry.

From Wikipedia.

Description Women Men
Essential fat 8–12% 3–5%
Athletes 14-20% 6–13%
Fitness 21-24% 14–17%
Just "Average" 25-32% 18-24%
Excess fat 32%+ 25%+
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby vander » Sun May 13, 2012 5:24 pm

He might be a bit overweight but he is right BMI applied to individuals is definitely rubbish.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby rkelsen » Sun May 13, 2012 5:36 pm

vander wrote:He might be a bit overweight but he is right BMI applied to individuals is definitely rubbish 20% of the time.

FTFY
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun May 13, 2012 6:19 pm

dynamictiger wrote:
Rebull wrote:If you are 23% body fat then you are nearly a quarter of your mass in fat - sorry dude you are fat. I'm not having a crack (I've been there) it's just the facts.]


Image

Perhaps before we get too caught up on this I should point out I am 50 years old. Most of the body fat charts I have seen show I am somewhere on the bottom of average for my age. I can understand [posters suspecting I am 30 or something in which case you would be correct at 23%. I don't have a lot of weight to lose to get to the ideal range, and I suspect as has been mentioned due to the scales being my main method of measurement their accuracy is a bit suspect.


You introduce here an "average for my age" as some sort of justification. Doctors trot this out to make clients feel happy but it has no merit. While it is harder to achieve, a healthy fifty year old will have the same fat-related numbers as a healthy twenty year old. Ditto for Blood Pressure and pulse I may add.

You started the thread asking people to play nice. I thought it odd as there is nothing about BMI that would especially get people worked up. (That is what Mandatory Helmet threads are for :D ) I now wonder if you are after validation of a position that you do not believe yourself. If so, with numbers like you have posted I wish you luck. I don't favour BMI at all for individuals but even I cannot accept 33% as anything but in need of some more serious work. I would be relegating your expensive "sensible" doctor to wherever they archive quacks and go back to the guy that thinks that 116kg for a guy who is 185cm is overweight. (2cm taller than me, 40kg extra and I am quite well muscled - not weedy - and age doesn't come into it.

Seriuolsy, I am not trying to be offensive. But I can find little sense in what is being presented, and you did seek discussion. :(

(Though Arnold Schwarts was 113kg on a 188cm frame which gives a BMI of 32. Hmmm.)
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby vander » Sun May 13, 2012 7:40 pm

rkelsen wrote:
vander wrote:He might be a bit overweight but he is right BMI applied to individuals is definitely rubbish 20% of the time.

FTFY
:D

Far more than 20%. As people have said its such a wide range therefore it will miss a lot of overweight people and call them healthy when infact they are not, it will also say a lot people are overweight when infact they are not overweight and should be in the healthy range. This will also be the same for the underweight and overweight obese ranges. Bringing it back to the point of this thread is it is not all it is cracked up to be.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby rkelsen » Sun May 13, 2012 7:50 pm

vander wrote:
rkelsen wrote:
vander wrote:He might be a bit overweight but he is right BMI applied to individuals is definitely rubbish 20% of the time.

FTFY
:D

Far more than 20%.

Not according to the statistics.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby dynamictiger » Mon May 14, 2012 7:18 am

Whilst this thread has got somewhat side tracked from my original intent, and turned into an examination of my individual case which was absolutely not the intent, the case is:

Weight = 115 kg
B F = 23% - depending on accuracy of measurement maybe 3% less
Muscle mass = 88.55 kg
BMI Maximum Target weight = 85 kg

Therefore how can BMI be accurately reflecting my individual case. This was the point i started with. This is the point I keep making. If my muscle mass is more than my BMI target weight how could it possibly be accurate? If as I loose weight I increase muscle mass (as has been happening) then it is impossible for me to achieve this target. My point is one of wondering how many other people are in this model? Or more to the point how many people should be but are being 'educated' to a weight target that is not realistic for them?
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby whitey » Mon May 14, 2012 7:45 am

dynamictiger wrote:Therefore how can BMI be accurately reflecting my individual case. ?


Looks like you are an exception to the BMI rule. Its not a hard and fast rule anyway so there you go. Time to move on.
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BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby kb » Mon May 14, 2012 8:00 am

dynamictiger wrote:Whilst this thread has got somewhat side tracked from my original intent, and turned into an examination of my individual case which was absolutely not the intent, the case is:

Weight = 115 kg
B F = 23% - depending on accuracy of measurement maybe 3% less
Muscle mass = 88.55 kg
BMI Maximum Target weight = 85 kg

Therefore how can BMI be accurately reflecting my individual case. This was the point i started with. This is the point I keep making. If my muscle mass is more than my BMI target weight how could it possibly be accurate?


While I agree with your point, that seems slightly confused. Surely your body also has skin, bones, blood and internal organs?
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Ozkaban » Mon May 14, 2012 8:40 am

whitey wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:Therefore how can BMI be accurately reflecting my individual case. ?


Looks like you are an exception to the BMI rule. Its not a hard and fast rule anyway so there you go. Time to move on.


+ 1

BMI should be seen as a useful indicator to keep yourself in check, or to seek further advice. It's not a diagnosis in itself.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon May 14, 2012 8:55 am

A recent British study I have heard about but can't find at this stage discounts BMI in favour of waist to height ratio as a better health indicator, anybody have more luck finding specifics?
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby dynamictiger » Mon May 14, 2012 9:00 am

Mulger bill wrote:A recent British study I have heard about but can't find at this stage discounts BMI in favour of waist to height ratio as a better health indicator, anybody have more luck finding specifics?


This is a ratio that I have heard about as well, again no specifics, but I understand it is more widely accepted than BMI and not as race specific.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby Hamster » Mon May 14, 2012 9:40 am

Try this one - contains links to actual research papers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist-to-height_ratio

This link gives you a calculator

http://www.shapefit.com/calculators/waist-to-height-ratio-calculator.html
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby BarryTas » Mon May 14, 2012 9:40 am

IMO the BMI gives to a giude to what is a suitable weight for your height.

but if you want a better measure,then get the body scan
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby rkelsen » Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 am

kb wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:Whilst this thread has got somewhat side tracked from my original intent, and turned into an examination of my individual case which was absolutely not the intent, the case is:

Weight = 115 kg
B F = 23% - depending on accuracy of measurement maybe 3% less
Muscle mass = 88.55 kg
BMI Maximum Target weight = 85 kg

Therefore how can BMI be accurately reflecting my individual case. This was the point i started with. This is the point I keep making. If my muscle mass is more than my BMI target weight how could it possibly be accurate?


While I agree with your point, that seems slightly confused. Surely your body also has skin, bones, blood and internal organs?

It's possible that he's just a lump of muscle and fat... :lol:

On a more serious note, yes, your BF% is low for your weight. However, it could still come down a bit, so keep working on it. Your GP will tell you it should be around 20%.
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Re: BMI - All Its Cracked Up To Be?

Postby simonn » Mon May 14, 2012 10:13 am

Mulger bill wrote:A recent British study I have heard about but can't find at this stage discounts BMI in favour of waist to height ratio as a better health indicator, anybody have more luck finding specifics?


But WHR does not take people born with big waists into account!!!
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