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Limits of using BMI

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  1. #1
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    Will Brink's Avatar


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    Limits of using BMI






    For those of you who don't fit the BMI charts (I would be considered obese FYI) a study that confirms much of what I have always said about BMI:


    Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Feb 19

    Accuracy of body mass index in diagnosing obesity in the adult general population.

    Romero-Corral A, Somers VK, Sierra-Johnson J, Thomas RJ, Collazo-Clavell ML, Korinek J, Allison TG, Batsis JA, Sert-Kuniyoshi FH, Lopez-Jimenez F.

    1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, MN, USA.

    Background: Body mass index (BMI) is the most widely used measure to diagnose obesity. However, the accuracy of BMI in detecting excess body adiposity in the adult general population is largely unknown.Methods: A cross-sectional design of 13 601 subjects (age 20-79.9 years; 49% men) from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to estimate body fat percent (BF%).

    We assessed the diagnostic performance of BMI using the World Health Organization reference standard for obesity of BF%>25% in men and>35% in women. We tested the correlation between BMI and both BF% and lean mass by sex and age groups adjusted for race.

    Results: BMI-defined obesity (>/=30 kg m(-2)) was present in 19.1% of men and 24.7% of women, while BF%-defined obesity was present in 43.9% of men and 52.3% of women. A BMI>/=30 had a high specificity (men=95%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 94-96 and women=99%, 95% CI, 98-100), but a poor sensitivity (men=36%, 95% CI, 35-37 and women=49%, 95% CI, 48-50) to detect BF%-defined obesity. The diagnostic performance of BMI diminished as age increased. In men, BMI had a better correlation with lean mass than with BF%, while in women BMI correlated better with BF% than with lean mass. However, in the intermediate range of BMI (25-29.9 kg m(-2)), BMI failed to discriminate between BF% and lean mass in both sexes.

    Conclusions: The accuracy of BMI in diagnosing obesity is limited, particularly for individuals in the intermediate BMI ranges, in men and in the elderly. A BMI cutoff of>/=30 kg m(-2) has good specificity but misses more than half of people with excess fat. These results may help to explain the unexpected better survival in overweight/mild obese patients.
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  2. #2
    fiendish thingy
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    Yeah, BMI can be a load of shit. With athletic people and weight lifters it is useless.
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  3. #3
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    If I remember correctly (how the hell do I remember this) isn't P-funk considered obese according to his BMI?
    Ron Paul 2012

    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?

  4. #4
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    I'm at "31.6" hahaha good times : )

    Calculate your BMI - Standard BMI Calculator

  5. #5
    is divorced and not drnkn
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    bmi is good for small children who's parents dont know what freakin diet is besides mcdonalds, and any one who goes on the biggest loser.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    If I remember correctly (how the hell do I remember this) isn't P-funk considered obese according to his BMI?
    No, i remember the same thing. He was having health insurance troubles because the company saw his BMI and assumed he was a fatty.

    BMI sucks.
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  7. #7
    Patrick
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    The worst part about BMI is that this is what medical institutions and insurance companies use to determine if you are healthy or not.

    Believe it or not, I pay a higher health insurance amount because I am listed as obese on the BMI chart. (5'5", 187lbs).
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  8. #8
    Succinct
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    It's sad people even need a study to realize this.

  9. #9
    Amor Fati
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    Damn and i've been kicking my own ass in this other thread about BMI

    http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/op...y-fitness.html

    It is useless for athletes. And it has its limits, but with the general population it is a useful tool when assessing a patient's overall health. It is not to be used blindly, but as part of a series of tests to assess a patient's risk factors for the development of pathologies.

    Unfortunately people like Patrick have to pay the price (as i probably will as well because i've been obese according to BMI since i was 16 years old). Pat you never went for a physical or anything? A licensed physician must assess you and diagnose you to be considered obese, a BMI number is just a number if it is not taken in context with other factors.
    "The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." -Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate

  10. #10
    Patrick
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    No, i didn't go to get a physical. I was just putting in the info on my health insurance form (didn't even think about it) and I put in height and weight and then they just send you a letter telling you what you have to pay and that I had to pay more because I was a fat ass......this world is so harsh! I will probably have to get 2 plane seats on thursday to fit my fat ass on the flight.
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  11. #11
    Amor Fati
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    Sorry to hear about that fatty. Where the fuck are you flying off to?
    "The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." -Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate

  12. #12
    happy sumo
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    im 28.2

    BMI Categories:

    Underweight = <18.5
    Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
    Overweight = 25-29.9
    Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
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