Im ALMOST over-weight

...According to BMI - new home page stuff

81 to 100 of 104 messages
25/11/2007 at 14:34

older people lose muscle mass very quickly when they are ill

and the "water" thing ..thats also blood, lymph and other fluids not just water that is held in tissues ("water" retention) as well as a rather large part of the brain (85%?)

25/11/2007 at 15:09

actually - going back to the muscle thing - i wonder if one of the reasons average BMI is increasing is that as well as getting fatter people are getting heavier because of more muscle mass ?

We know that better quality and quantity of food available has meant height has increased over the last couple of generations but if you look at pictures of people post war (after rationing and food shortages) then there were a lot of people who looked underweight/skinny by comparison to recent years (im not talking about comparing to obviously "overweight" people -just people who would be considered "normal" weight) -perhaps our plentiful supplies mean that we are getting bigger and heavier and not just fatter ?

25/11/2007 at 16:33
On the basis of Buney's last three posts I now feel so hopelessly amateur that I must now slink away and eat a curry
25/11/2007 at 17:56


i know nothing really ..its all just specualtion !

25/11/2007 at 17:57
or speculation even if i could spell
26/11/2007 at 10:47

Fatter people need more muscle to support their weight, so a small proportion of their excess weight is muscle. And muscle mass decreases with age (i.e. for the same weight, the proportion of fat to muscle increases as one gets older) which is a good reason to do resistance training to reduce this effect. When fat people lose weight, they also lose a little of the muscle mass which is not required anymore. By the way, there is plenty of water in muscle (blood, muscle cells etc) so that has to be factored in when doing calculations. Bone weight doesn't decrease significantly with age unless there is severe osteoporosis. 

And fatter people have a higher metabolic rate, i.e. they burn more calories at rest and during exercise than thin people - despite what many people think. See and click on 'slim', then 'metabolism and weight' to see a common fallacy debunked (i.e. that 'naturally slim people' eat more than fat people yet remain slim). The truth is that overweight people eat more than slim people, often without realising it.

The world has grown fatter since the last world war, due to increased calorie intake and decreased activity - but most of our increased calories are junk calories. Many obese people are malnourished because most of their calorie intake is from junk food.

28/11/2007 at 17:00

Agree with all the posters who have questionned the relevance of BMI. We're all runners and exercise has a significant effect on health risks. Someone with a 'normal' BMI who doesn't exercise carries greater health risks than someone who is 'fat and fit'. I'm fitter than ever but BMI 27ish. I've still got fat to lose but thats only because I want to shave seconds off the shorter distances (and look 'trim' I suppose)...

 BMI is a generally useful risk predictor for the general population and easy to measure. But it doesn't go much beyond that.

28/01/2008 at 10:36

I measure "thinner" but weigh more than I have at times (when not running so much)?!? I presume that this is the muscle weighing more than fat thing? 

My BMI is 19.1 (which is in the healthy range) - but my size 8 clothes are kind of baggy... even though I have at times been half a stone lighter? That article on speed makes it seem like if I weighed less then I would be faster in races - but I think I'd have to start wearing childrens clothing.

I run around 30 miles a week at present, but not training for any particular event. Thinking about my first half marathon (only done 10K or 10 mile races up until now). Not sure what my optimum weight is to stay healthy and run well. I guess anything down to a BMI of 18.5 is ok? Or would that make me too think cos of having very little body fat???

29/01/2008 at 10:54

You'll only find your optimum weight by trial and error. If your periods cease, you're almost certainly underweight or have insufficient fat. Obviously if you're an elite runner, you'll want to be as light as possible while remaining healthy - all elite distance runners are very slim, with BMI around 18.5.

The ideal is to make all your calories count - i.e. no junk calories, so that you maximise your nutritional intake. Only those training immense volumes will have to eat a lot of sugary stuff to get sufficient calories in easily digestible form.

29/01/2008 at 15:00
Apparently most rugby players are obese according to BMI's just becasue they are so muscly (mmm)
29/01/2008 at 17:02

I measure 31.5 / 23.5 / 33.5 inches... but my BMI is (just) inside "normal" - and above what some running places think is "optimal"...

29/01/2008 at 17:03
And I'm not sure why I'm in this thread...
29/01/2008 at 17:05
Waist measurements will probably take the place of BMIs in the future when determining obesity/overweight. A 'beer belly' isn't muscle.........and some rugby players I've seen have just as much fat as muscle. But Arnie in his prime (i.e. the first of his Terminator movies) had the V shape of a muscley bloke with a high BMI which isn't due to excess fat.
02/04/2008 at 13:12

I've read a lot recently that waist to hip ratio is the best indicator of general health (below 0.8 for women and below 0.95 for men). Makes sense to me... my BMI is a very "normal" 22.3 but until i started running I was only just below the line for a healthy waist size. Since I started running my weight has barely changed but the inches are falling off my waist...... is that any help to anyone?

03/04/2008 at 23:33

Sports Nutritionist in training here. I've spent more time than I care to think about being lectured about the limitations of BMI.  

In essence  BMI is an indicator of body weight not fatness and as others have said it is not a sensitive indicator of fatness in people who are active/athletic etc. It has its limitations in the "normal population" as well.  You can quite easily be in the normal BMI range and have a high body fat percentage and equally you can be in the overweight or obese BMI category and have a low or normal body fat measurement. Then of course what really matters is where that fat is deposited.

Calipers and the bio impediance scales (like the Tanita ones) also have their limitations. Calipers need a skilled person using to produce good results and they have a relatively large margin of error. And the bio impediance scales need proper hydration to give a good result and can also over estimate body fat in athletic people (if the wrong set of equations are used).

Waist measurement, waist to height ratio (less than 0.5) or waist to hip ratio are all good indicators of abdominal fatness (which is the fat that carries the health risks) that are easily measured. As long as you measuring at your natural waist which isn't always where your waistband falls .

 But BMI is a very insensitive indicator and basically not worth the huge amount of importance that people have attached to it over recent years.

05/04/2008 at 12:11

Using the Arnie example, isn't it a case that a persons heart can only support so much weight, and therefore, even if your whole body is lean muscle, by virtue of the fact that you're overweight it's putting a strain on your heart?

This is how i interpret the bmi scale, at least for people who are overweight anyway. And Arnie had a heart attack didn't he? But agreed it can't possibly tell you how much fat you carry.

27/05/2008 at 17:59

ValleyGirl- yay for someone saying how useless BMI is! And yay for all the other people on the thread dissing BMI too.

I remember a few years ago a couple of my friends were convinced weight was a good measure of healthiness and although I weighed the same as one girl, she was a good 1-2 dress sizes larger than me- because I exercised a whole lot more, I had a lot more in the way of muscle mass.

Saying that, I've now gained a bit (lot?) of excess flab in the middle, really want to lose that as it'll look better and who knows, if I combine it with my increased training I might even hit 9 minute miles.... (I know that's slow for some people but I'd consider it fast for me!).

27/05/2008 at 18:00
Also- is your natural waist just the skinniest bit?
27/05/2008 at 18:15

Not neccessarily - its is probably the widest bit!  it is over the navel - relaxed but not breathing in and pulling belly in

lots of people -well men - wear their trousers under their natural waist -particularly if they have a large overhang - so think their waist is say 34 when actually it may be 4-6 " more when measured properly

waist circumference measurement or hip to waist ratio is about identifying people who have more abdominal fat (apple shape as opposed to pear shape) because this is thought to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes and is now used in conjunction with BMI to assess whether someone is within a healthy weight range - a bit of common sense observation will determine whether someones BMI is significant or not !

Edited: 27/05/2008 at 18:32
28/05/2008 at 10:13

The waist isn't necessarily your skinniest point. It usually is. But believe it or not there is no actual agreement on this. I guess because human anatomy isn't actually machine like perfect.

In the UK the official measurement is the one the WHO uses. According to the WHO it is half way between your lowest rib and the top of your hip bone. Usually that is two fingers width above your navel as a rough guide.

Edited: 28/05/2008 at 10:13
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