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How fat are you really?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by brescd01, Sep 25, 2004.

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  1. fareau

    fareau Senior member

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    There is a substantial body of literature which demonstrates that body mass index is a useful marker of obesity. Most of you probably realise that with obesity comes an increased incidence of certain comorbid conditions (ie high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes). The tendency for obesity and these comorbid conditions to cluster together lead to the defining of a clinical syndrome known as "the metabolic syndrome" and this syndrome carries with it a significant increase in many problems, including cardiovascular problems (eg heart attacks). It is more likely that abdominal obesity (which is correlated with visceral adipose tissue) is a better predictor of metabolic risk factors and since waist circumference is a good proxy measure of abdominal obesity, part of the definitiion of the metabolic syndrome is a waist circumference greater than 40in in men and 35in in women. Clinically, we tend to treat obesity based upon measures of body mass index (it takes very little skill to distinguish an overweight from an athletic body habitus) and we use waist cicumference to help define the presence of metabolic syndrome. So, body mass index is useful if interpreted and applied correctly, but as far as its utility in the Style forum......well, I suspect that Dr. Bresch is conducting a very surreptitious study of our habits. [​IMG]
     
  2. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    This is why internal medicine (apparently Fareau's specialty) and not psychiatry or sleep medicine (my specialties), is the king of specialties.
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    But given what we know about the habits of the modern metrosexual, do you think that the BMI a good measure wrt. the members of the styleforum?
     
  4. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    Hmmm. . . . What if one's "drop" is negative?  (Oh, goodness. Not me, Doctor--a friend. . . .)
     
  5. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    According to the BMI I should be dead by now. I could probably stand to lose 5-10 pounds or so, but I think that losing the 30+ pounds I would need to have an average BMI would probably be extremely unhealthy.
     
  6. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hmm, according to that page, I'd need to drop 30 lbs to be "normal". I could stand to lose 10-15, but not 30...
     
  7. Rudder

    Rudder Member

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    BMI doesn't work for certain body types (muscular guys). Percentage of body fat is a more appropriate measure. Try this on-line calculator ((you'll need a measuring tape).
     
  8. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    i figure most know this is the worst gauge of your body. according to the BMI, Michael Jordan was in the "obese" category simply b/c he weighed in the 220 area. i'm near obese and i'm 6'3 205 with 8% BF.
     
  9. mbc

    mbc Senior member

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    A BMI of over 25 is unhealthy even if you're all muscle, because it's a strain on your body to maintain all of that tissue mass, especially your heart.
     
  10. dorian

    dorian Senior member

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    ................................................................ interesting.
     
  11. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    sez who?

    also what about bone structure? large boned people are always going to have a higher BMI than smaller ones. does that make them inherently less healthy?
     
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I would disagree with that concept for the following reasons. When I was lifting more regularly and running for football in high school, I had a bf% of around 7% and a body weight of about 220-222, but benched a bit more and squatted significantly more. Therefore, my BMI would have been higher than it is now, at my current weight of 210 and lower BMI, even though I was running 5:30 miles while I would be hard pressed to break 7 minutes now. I was in far better shape at that time than I am now, so despite my higher BMI.
     
  13. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    i'm 25.5. i highly doubt anyone outside of the very worst areas of ethiopia would consider me overweight. who creates these studies? no doubt someone using $10M of "grants"
     
  14. ct2272

    ct2272 Well-Known Member

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    Well here we go...

    6 feet 2 inches.
    274 pounds

    12% bodyfat
    BMI of 35.2
    My drop is 17 inches.

    I believe BMI is a perfect calculator of someone who does not exercise at all. A total sedentary lifestyle which given the news stories I have been reading lately comprises a majority of people in the US.

    In fact, most health insurance companies use BMI as an indicator of whether or not to cover you. That was my experience at least. When speaking with the insurance rep, she told me that she received calls all the time from athletes and generally people who did a lot of weight training begging for coverage yet their BMI considered them obese therefore not eligible for coverage. I use the PPO at my office, or otherwise it would probably be a nightmare for coverage.

    Thanks to this board I have found out about the benefits of MTM and can now wear items that have a 57 inch chest that tailor into my 38-40 inch waist vs having to belt down a RTW that has to support a 50 inch waist.

    Regards,
    CT
     
  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Holy crap. Well, I could still probably outrun you (used to be able to run under 5:20 miles, and probably threat of imminent death could put me a bit under that). Or... I am a *very* dirty fighter, and I have reasonably quick hands. Who am I kidding? Oh well, there is no pride lost in getting beat by a guy who weights over 100 pounds more.
     
  16. Oltmann

    Oltmann Senior member

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    Why bother fighting? With a BMI that high he is sure to drop dead within 5 minutes. [​IMG]
     
  17. fareau

    fareau Senior member

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    Gents,

    There seems to be a good deal of confusion regarding the application of the body mass index. Clinically, there is little difficulty in distinguishing the athlete with a BMI of 30 and the non-athlete with the same BMI. If you are 5'10'' and 215lbs of rock hard muscle, no clinician is going to accuse you of being obese (common sense, right?). Again, the BMI is simply a measurement that has been demonstrated to correlate well with obesity in the general population and, to the degree that it is elevated, is associated with an increased incidence of other diseases. Consensus guidelines have been created by experts for the management of obesity and these guidelines are based upon the BMI and the presence of any comorbidities. If a clinician recognizes a patient as obese, he or she can calculate the patient's BMI and make the appropriate therapeutic intervention based upon the guidelines (that is, based upon the product of extensive analysis of the medical literature).

    If you calculate your BMI to be greater than 25 and, while standing "alfresco" in front of the mirror, can honestly and confidently declare yourself an Adonis, then rest assured that it is likely the wrong metric for you.

    You have to give David credit; he comes up with some provocative topics for discussion.
     
  18. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    [​IMG] ...so do trolls. anyway i think the objection was not to the utility of the BMI to a clinician with a patient standing right in front of him, but rather to the applicability of the BMI to the question 'how fat are you' (especially over the internet where the subjects are unseen). i and others feel that a more appropriate metric for that question is the body fat percentage measurement, possibly combined with a drop measurement. (granted, an accurate body fat measurement is more work to obtain than the BMI.) /andrew
     
  19. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Well, I have a BMI at the somewhat higher end of normal, and standing in front of the mirror, I can see that although my build is pretty average, I am, in fact, an *Adonis*.

    erm, sorry all.
     
  20. fareau

    fareau Senior member

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    Well, this is it you see.....If you can find a marker for obesity that has good sensitivity and is covenient for the hectic pace of most clinics, that is what you end up using.  But I agree with you, Andrew, it is not perfect.  Still, with the exception of our brawny compatriots (giving the aforementioned caveats) it may be a reasonable tool for people to use at home to target their attempts at weight loss (not too many people are going to measure their body fat percentage at home).

    Let me add another potentially volatile measurement: ideal body weight.  In men, this is taken to be 50 kg for the first five feet of height, with an additional 2.3 kg for every inch above five feet.  People with more robust physiques can add up to an additional 5-10% (so 170lbs would become 178-187lbs).

    (remember that 2.2lbs is equal to 1 kg.)
     
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