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to think the NHS bmi calculator is a bit 'off'

(52 Posts)
SaggingTits Fri 15-Jan-16 22:14:52

Hoping I don't get flamed for this or offend anyone. This is me pondering on my own weight more than anything.

I'm 5"3 and weigh 10stone. I have made an effort to get my weight down after having ds and reaching over 11stone. Checked my measurement's today and according to NHS website my bmi is in the 'healthy weight range' by a few pounds. I am unquestionably 'fat' and look overweight.

Unsure if it's how I personally carry weight, body shape etc, or is the bmi concept a bit shite?

otterlylovely Fri 15-Jan-16 22:17:28

When I weight 10 stone, at an identical height, I certainly don't look fat, but it probably depends what you're used to.

OwlinaTree Fri 15-Jan-16 22:18:26

Well bmi is one measure, but I agree with you. At anything over 22 on bmi I feel massive.

MsVestibule Fri 15-Jan-16 22:19:50

Where do you carry your weight?

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 15-Jan-16 22:20:38

it's on the high end of the healthy range.
unfortunately the bmi says nothing about shape/figure.

MsVestibule Fri 15-Jan-16 22:22:27

The BMI calculator is just one measurement of health. Is your waist measurement less than half your height? Have you had your body fat percentage checked?

MissLanaBanana Fri 15-Jan-16 22:22:28

i have weighed the lower end of my healthy bmi (also 5ft3) and looked I'll I was so thin. My hip bones stuck out and I felt like I had a child's body. I feel overweight at 10st, feel best around 9.5.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Jan-16 22:24:11

I agree. I'm 5"3 and if my weight goes above about 8st 9lb at the most, I most definitely look fat.

But that's probably because it goes straight to my stomach and sits there.

chantico Fri 15-Jan-16 22:24:16

It probably just means you need to be at the lower end of the range.

They don't distinguish between different frames (probably one reason why there is a range), so you can aim for any point within the 'healthy' where you think you look good.

IfItsGoodEnough4ShirleyBassey Fri 15-Jan-16 22:25:06

What's your waist measurement? That's a good alternative guide to whether you're at a personally healthy weight.

Akire Fri 15-Jan-16 22:26:30

the calculator didn't take into account body sizes I've had some friend of Asian origin who have tiny tiny frames. My shoulders are almost 50% wider yet I still fitted in. Size 12 but on bmi was boarding on overweight category.

rookiemere Fri 15-Jan-16 22:28:53

BMI calculator is meant to determine if your weight is in a healthy range for your height.

It doesn't know if you're that weight because you weight train, or because you eat donuts.

All it's basically useful for is to tell you if you're over 25 then you should probably lose a bit of weight and if you're under 17 (?) then you could do with putting on a few pounds.

Kewcumber Fri 15-Jan-16 22:30:14

BMI doesn;t measure whether you look fat, or feel fat or what size you wear - it's an indication of whether you are most likely to be a healthy body weight

You don;t need to be slim by todays standards to be a healthy body weight though waist measurement is increasingly being used as a sign of whether you carry fat on your internal organs.

TheSecondViola Fri 15-Jan-16 22:30:27

It's a blunt tool, but then its meant to be.

You are on the very very edge of normal weight, one more pound and you will be in the overweight group. It's meant to be a generous banding though.
Which is why its even sillier that people are always complaining that bmi is faulty because it tells them they are obese. They all are, if bmi says they are.

Kewcumber Fri 15-Jan-16 22:30:36

xposted with rookie there

mamapants Fri 15-Jan-16 22:34:35

As others say its a rough tool to determine whether you are in the healthy range or not.
Have read though that it is over generous for short people and overly harsh for the very tall.
So probably at 5'3 you'd be better off with a bmi of 23 or under.
I'm same height and nine stone and definitely podgy but I wouldn't think I was u healthy.

Miloarmadillo1 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:34:39

I'm the same height and within a BMI of 18-25 could weigh anything from 8-10 stone. I personally feel flabby at 10 stone and have been nowhere near 8 as an adult, but I concede that I could be a healthy weight I.e not adversely affecting my health, anywhere in that range. I have a medium build and feel best at 9 stone ish, so someone slight or curvy but the same height as me could easily have an ideal weight a stone in either direction.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:36:23

Yanbu. As said it hasn't got any way of knowing if you're solid muscle or pure flab. Or your build.

Then again, it wasn't ever meant to be an individual measure, it was for population measurements. It has just been happily seized on by a lot of people with a high body fat % as proof they are the ideal size as they scrape in under 25.

According to bmi charts I could gain several stone and still be a healthy weight. When short of extreme body building, I'd be massively fat at that size.

IfItsGoodEnough4ShirleyBassey Fri 15-Jan-16 22:36:40

I'm a similar height and have been every weight in that range. I look fine up to 9 stone 7, above that I'm a bit podgy but in no way fat.

Karoleann Fri 15-Jan-16 22:39:45

I'm 5'4" and I'd looked really overweight at 10 stone. I'm currently just under 9 and a size 10 which is a good weight for me.

However, DH is 6'5" and 17stone he apparently is the in the overweigh category - yet he's really not at all.

DS who is 5'2", but is only 9 is 8 stone and apparently overweight according to the NHS does all seem a bit arbitry to me.

Trills Fri 15-Jan-16 22:40:29

It's not off.

It calculates BMI perfectly well.

That's just maths.

You are not questioning the calculator, you are questioning the concept of BMI.

BMI is a population-level measure. It is not intended to state the healthiness or unhealthiness of any individual person.

One individual may be unhealthy while having an OK BMI, or healthy while having a BMI outside of the ideal range.

When looking at thousands or millions of people, the proportions who fall into the different categories is informative.

RaisingSteam Fri 15-Jan-16 22:41:25

Fat is very subjective. You don't magically drop into the healthy weight range and become stick thin and toned. You can be healthy weight and still have wobbly bits, that some people would term as being "fat". It's not called "attractive weight". They upper end of healthy weight is going to be pretty curvy.

BMI has got to be a guideline and done on averages, of course it won't apply uniformly to every conceivable shape and build of person. But it's quite a helpful yardstick when you have people getting so overweight they are at risk of diabetes and stuff.

rookiemere Fri 15-Jan-16 22:45:09

These threads always end up depressing me as it always seems to be thin people who respond.

I really doubt that anyone within normal range of BMI looks "massively fat".

I'm over BMI 25 at the minute, partly perimenopausal and partly because I've been doing weight training, have lost a lot of that visceral fat. Yes I'd like to be a bit thinner but I still fit in airplane seats, wear a size 14 ( oh yes do please tell me how thats size 20 in old money as I've never heard that before), and regularly run 5k.

It would be nice to lose about a stone for aesthetic reasons but health wise I think I'm doing ok.

mamapants Fri 15-Jan-16 22:47:41

Here is one link regarding the short/tall thing

TheSecondViola Fri 15-Jan-16 22:49:23

You can still be very healthy while being over a healthy bmi. And vice versa. But that in no way invalidates the bmi calculator as a tool.

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