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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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
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.