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Body Mass Index Feedback

This page is feedback about the Body Mass Index or BMI, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell someone about BMI?

Subj: Adjusted lean BMI
Date: 8/5/2010
Good for you! As a 46 y/o woman who teaches Zumba Fitness (a high intensity dance cardio workout) for 6-6 hours a week, it is discouraging to go in for a check up and see my BMI measuring in at the overweight category! I am between 5'6" and 5'7" and I fluctuate between 152 - 162...I am fit and lean, and if I weighed much less, I would NOT be healthy! I used to be obese, but even then the standard BMI tool seemed unable to take into account my muscle (working out 3-5x week even then) and thus made the Dr's official goals unrealistic. Also I wonder how the standard tool can calculate both for myself...with a very large bone structure, and say, my sister, who has very fine slender bones. Thanks again for the logical tool!

AskDocWeb: You are welcome Amy. Now who can you share this with?

Subj: Healthy weight
Date: 8/9/2010
I am 16, 5'7" and 200 lbs. and your calculator says my BMI is 31 but I have 36DD breasts and naturally large butt thats been passed down for generations. I know I'm at a healthier standing than it says I am and I have a bit of muscle it doesn't account for, how do I figure out what a healthy weight should be for me?

AskDocWeb: The BMI calculator is a general indicator for average people. If you want a specific weight to use as a goal for weight maintenance, your doctor can provide one.

Subj: Realistic evaluation of BMI
Date: 8/22/2010
Hi I am a very fit and healthy 34 year old woman. I am 5'9" and 203 lb. I have always been athletic and muscular. A normal bmi has always put me at 30 and obese which I have always found intensely frustrating as I am only an English size 14, USA 10 and am very muscly but not fat. Thankyou for this athletes chart which I think is a far more realistic evaluation of my real bmi at 25. Years ago I was extremely anorexic but my weight hardly went below 133lb even though I was almost skeletal at a size 8, USA 4 and a normal bmi chart put me at ideal 21 whereas this one says I would have been about a 17 which again is a far more accurate description of where my health and appearance were. Thank you for making me feel better and saying I am normal instead of obese!

AskDocWeb: You are welcome Zoe.

Subj: Love this calculator
Date: 9/10/2010
I love this. I was worried about my weight when I used a normal bmi calculator in PE. It said I was over weight. My teacher said it was because I was very muscular and had larger breasts but still, I wanted to look into it myself. Thank you for having this calculator. (Grin) It will be helpful to prove to some of my friends that they are not fat in anyway.

Subj: Finally some common sense
Date: 10/3/2010
I was tire of hearing I was fat at 25 bmi, I have six pack abs and vascularity, and wife tells me I'm too skin, with a 32 in waist, and 195lbs. Finally some common sense. Thank you.

Subj: Very athletic male
Date: 10/5/2010
This calculator is great. I am a very athletic male and weigh 193, and am 6 feet tall. I lift weights three days a week, and run three days. Every bmi calculator I have tried puts me as a 26, or in the overweight range. But my wife tells me I'm too thin. I don't know what you "tweeked", but this Calcutlator puts me where I believe myself to truely be, at a 22. Thanks.

Subj: BMI standards
Date: 10/7/2010
I am recovering from Cushing's Disease that I have had for 12 years. Due to Cushing's I had suddenly swelled up to 380 pounds. I am now 8 months out from being cured (removal of pituitary tumor and adrenal glands) and down to 290. I would like to be about 200 (I am 5'9 with a very large frame), which I knew had been a decent wait for me before Cushing's hit so many years ago. But my doc thinks that would still be hefty since it would still be considered obese by BMI standards. I knew at 18 I was 190-200 with a 19% body fat and not considered 'fat' in the least. I was captain of the varsity volleyball team. I do agree the BMI is a complete joke and this version is much more realistic for someone with a very muscular or large frame. My hubby has the same problem since he is a body builder. SO thank you for putting this out here.

Subj: NASA makes no allowance for athletic body types
Date: 10/9/2010
I am former athlete. I stand 5' 4" tall and weigh in at 175 lbs. My BMI was calculated for recruitment to a NASA study of all things, and they told me that I was 17 lbs overweight. They also weighed me with my clothes on. Like most people I could probably do with shedding a pound or two around my middle, but 17 lbs? It seems that even NASA make no allowance for athletic body types. I am of course muscular with a middle-to-large frame, for example there is no fat at all in my legs (former soccer player). Seems to me NASA want 7 stone weaklings who have never trained for or taken part in any athletic pursuit. I plan to get down to about 160 lbs (if I can, not sure since there's a lot of muscle mass), and take the test again. Is there anything I can tell the Nurse who will weigh me?

AskDocWeb: It seems unlikely that you could tell them anything that would change their mind about your BMI. The people who do the tests "go by the book" and your opinion is not part of that.

Subj: Women with a muscular build
Date: 10/19/2010
Thanks, This was a great way to get my body image into perspective. I'm a women with a muscular build and always come up as obese on standard BMI charts. I'm working on loosing some weight, but this was the best help in thinking about an ideal weight that is attainable and maintainable as opposed to the normal charts that are literally impossible for me. I've lost the weight before and at my thinest was 140 and comfortably wearing a size 6. My BMI at this level puts me just under the overweight category. Thanks, this tool was a real pick-me-up.

Subj: Fat caliper
Date: 10/24/2010
Just to let you know, this tool seems to be very accurate, showing close to the same reading as the fat caliper.

AskDocWeb: Thanks Donna, we appreciate your letting us know.

Subj: This is right on
Date: 11/12/2010
I used a few body mass index calculators, I'm 51 medium build my height is 5.8 and I weigh about 156. I run and bike regularly. I'm told that I've got nothing to lose but I know I have a few I could lose a few to lighten the load on my knees. Based on your calculator I can go down to 152 and still maintain a BMI of 20%. I think this is right on for me other sites have me at 23.7 to 24 and I know my doctor would scream if I went to 20% BMI based on them.

Subj: Good BMI tool
Date: 11/30/2010
This is a really good BMI tool. I have an athletic build and an active lifestyle, competing in martial arts and football. I am extremely fit with a lot of muscle and not overweight to look at but have always been classified as overweight on regular BMI scales. It's nice to know that I shouldn't be starving myself to reach an unhealthy weight or BMI range. Another aspect that you could look at is the waist/hip ratio of people with an athletic build - even if I were to lose every last bit of fat from my mid-section, I would never have the waist/hip ratio, or even just waist circumference that is considered healthy on conventional scales.

Subj: Different body builds
Date: 12/3/2010
Without accounting for my athletic build my bmi index is a 26.4.I am glad someone is taking into account different body builds in calculating bmi. Also I do not feel well when my cholesterol level is below 200. I need fat to run my muscles. There is no heart disease in my family, why do doctors try to put everyone on medication to lower cholesterol?

AskDocWeb: Have you heard the expression, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"? Well, a doctor's education is in medicine so there is a tendency to think of medication as the solution to health problems. When it comes to high cholesterol one solution may be nutrition but doctors in the USA are not required to take courses in nutrition.

Subj: Positive result
Date: 12/24/2010
This is the first time that I've entered my weight and height into a BMI calculator and got a positive result. I am an avid runner and mountain biker and have been continually depressed at the scores I would receive when plugging my digits into these "scientific" calculators. Glad to have stumbled upon this one.

Subj: Broad shouldered and muscular
Date: 12/30/2010
This is by far the most accurate tool for those that are active and athletic. With other tools I fall under the obese category, however, I am broad shouldered, muscular, not the smallest waist but I maintain a 4-day a week workout routine that consist of intensive cardio and strength training with weights. I'm at 24 BMI but I'm still working towards reaching at least a 22 BMI where as other tools show me at 29 BMI.

Subj: Thanks for getting it right!
Date: 1/5/2011
I am 5'2" and have always been an athletic & fit woman, the same weight since around 15. It's been a point of frustration that my weight (131#) is always on the very high end of "healthy" for my height. I wear a petite size 6 & can outrun, outperform and outlift almost everyone near my age (42) yet when I took a military physical for enlistment (at 25) I got lectured on how I needed to watch my weight as I was almost outside their acceptance range for my height. It would be nice if there were more public charts like yours that would take this into consideration before concluding that you need to lose weight or might not get into a program where fitness is supposed to be appreciated and desirable. It's like being told to lower your cholesteral if your number is 200 when you are actually at the lowest risk due to your hdl/ ldl ratio. Thanks for getting it right!

AskDocWeb: You are welcome Alice, and kudos to you for maintaining such good physical condition. And more important, thank you for your service to our country.

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Related links:

Body Mass Index for those with an athletic build.

Calorie Calculator to find the number of calories you burn each day.

Calculate your Ideal Weight for Adults.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2007-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on BMI and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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