/ Interesting articles on BMI

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mkean - on 29 Jan 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21229387

http://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

The BMI scale and why it needs some adjustment, any thoughts?

New BMI = 1.3 x weight, divided by height to the power 2.5.

The new scale moves me from the top of the normal weight band to somewhere around the middle but will shift shorter people the other way.
The New NickB - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to mkean:

I cannot really see that it solves anything. It drops my BMI from 22.8 to 20.8, I am 5'9" so not exactly tall.

We know why some athletes don't fit within BMI calculations, we also know a lot of fat knackers use this as an excuse.
Tall Clare - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

I prefer the excuse that it's my glands. I have very heavy glands, you know.

<ahem>

Agreed - it still all feels rather arbitrary as it doesn't differentiate what *sort* of weight it is (e.g. muscle, fat, heavy glands (!), etc)
mkean - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
I heard a comedian on Radio 4 say theat Eric Pickles weight was down to his massive glands, unfortunately my car stereo is rubbish and I heard "Eric Pickles weight is due to his massive glans". I nearly crashed my car.
The New NickB - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I think it works as a basic indicator, but shouldn't be used in isolation.

I tend to go with the idea of looking at yourself naked in the mirror and being honest, but we know that our self image cannot always be relied on.
dissonance - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

> I cannot really see that it solves anything.

seems to answer some height specific issues for outlying groups but since it misses the main problem cant see it helping much.
That said if it does make it a bit more accurate for some since so many people insist on using it might help a bit.

mark s - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to mkean: im still overweight and still hold the bmi system as a load of bo11ocks
deepsoup - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to mkean:
From that BBC article, it seems odd to me that he talks about the problems with BMI being a single number that doesn't describe individuals at all well, and then proposes a slightly different single number that doesn't describe people at all well. "I've identified the main problem here, and come up with a solution that doesn't bother to address that at all."

Odder, further down there's a mention of MRI and DEXA scans with regard to body fat percentage, and then nothing else as if those very precise (and very expensive) methods are the only way to even vaguely measure it.

If you wanted to change the way BMI works to make it reflect the physique of an individual better, why not chuck in another measurement, like waist circumference, to get an idea of body shape? Or keep the existing BMI (which seems to work just fine for considering populations) and add a simple approximate measure of body fat (like the "US Navy" approach) when dealing with individuals?

For medical professionals dealing with individual people though, the best advice probably comes from The Mash:
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/health/body-mass-index-replaced-by-just-looking-at-people-2013012...
Ian Black - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to mkean: I've never bothered with the BMI. Mine was showing at 27, back in August with only 9% body fat. I wont ever check it again.
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Wiley Coyote - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to mkean:

Years ago when I was stinking fit and playing lots of sport my BMI showed me to be border line obese. My GP told me it was all bo11ocks, which I took to be quite flattering until I realised he was talking about the BMI rather than the cause of my excess weight

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