View Full Version : Why does the BMI still exist?

03-02-2005, 05:53 PM
Look at this article.
The findings are rediculous, I am about 5'7" and 178 and for the heck of it decided to look up my BMI. I am at 27.5, I'm almost obese but no one would ever know it by the fact that I am not very fat :P

03-02-2005, 07:59 PM
The BMI is very outdated for many of us, but it is still very accurate for third world countries and large populations on the whole.

A professor I used to work with dealt with malnurished children in Africa. He had many problems with his situation (not much money, little infrastructure, etc...) but BMI was a good indicator if a child was of a healthy weight and height at a certain age. It also correlated well with if a young girl was healthy enough to reproduce. To teach people with little education to just weigh and measure the height of someone is also a lot more accurate than having them try to learn to do a 10 point caliper test!

So while BMI is not such a good indicator for us here in the USA it still works very well for other situations.

03-02-2005, 08:45 PM
I think it still works here in the USA. It is just that BMI assumes that the person has a sedentary lifestyle, which is true for 90% of the population. It is only those few of us that maintain a larger than average percentage of LBM that BMI is useless.

03-02-2005, 10:14 PM
Believe it or not, the BMI goes all the way back to 1869, when a Belgian scientist named Quetelet observed that in adults of normal build, weight was proportional to the square of the height. Use of "Quetelet's Index" was given a boost in 1985, when researchers found a high statistical correlation between the index and body composition when applied to 104 female and 28 male subjects (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=4030199). It's been a useful tool for epidemiologists - who are looking at large populations - but no one in the medical community believes that it should be used as a stand-alone measure of body composition for individuals.

03-03-2005, 03:51 PM
I was just surprised that such a low percentage of NFL players was over a 30, I am not "Big" by any stretch of the imagination if you compare me to any NFL player and I am quite close the the 30. I'm sure it could be acurate for the examples listed by elissa but for studying NFL players? Come on...