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Just how important is a healthy BMI?


Silver Member
I know I've seen a thread like this but can't find it!

Just how important is a healthy BMI?

I've set my goal at 12 stone which is still 2 stone overweight but I just think I will look and feel alot healthier than I am now and that it's a realistic and more importantly maintainable weight for me. I'm pretty sure that my waist measurement will fall in a healthy range at this weight also. I know I might get to goal and decide to loose more but I think I'd rather maintain at 12 stone than risk feeling upset when I can't maintain 10 stone. The last time I was 12 stone I was probably about age 14!

What do you think?
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Silver Member
My opinion, and in fact that of my doctor and almost any health professional I talk to, is that BMI is a bad way to measure anything. My doctor actually said that it is a stupid system stating that a healthy weight can be determined by any ratio of weight to height. He likened it to clothes that claim "one size fits all" .... they rarely do. He says it is the same for BMI, that you will occasionally find someone that its fits perfectly, but 90% of people it won't.

He says, and I agree, that the ONLY true way to measure how "healthy" you are with regard to weight is by your Body Fat Percentage. If you are in the healthy region for this, then you are okay. The ranges for this are (I am sad, I have these on my fridge next to a porker photo of myself):

[FONT=verdana, geneva, helvetica]
Age 20-40
Under = < 21%, Healthy = 21%-33%, Over = 33%-39%, Obese = > 39%
Age 41-60
Under = < 23%, Healthy = 23%-35%, Over = 35%-40%, Obese = > 40%
Age 61-79
Under = < 24%, Healthy = 24%-36%, Over = 36%-42%, Obese = > 42%

Age 20-40
Under = < 8%, Healthy = 8%-19%, Over = 19%-25%, Obese = > 25%
Age 41-60
Under = < 11%, Healthy = 11%-22%, Over = 22%-27%, Obese = > 27%
Age 61-79
Under = < 13%, Healthy = 13%-25%, Over = 25%-30%, Obese = > 30%

This to me is a much more logical and consistent way to work.

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to be honest with you the BMI chart can be totally off scale my husband does body building as a hobby so his weight is well over the recommended bmi it states his obese - however his very lean with big muscles heehee :p ... so in his case the bmi it just not useful ... i use it as a guide ..so if you feel a bmi of 28 is going to be right for you then that's what matters hun your doctor will be pleased your have moved down the scale and you might be like me big boned where i am never going to be a skinny person or i will end up looking like natalie cassidy when she lost weigh lolly pop head or kelly osbourne .. you know what i mean,

the main thing is getting fit and healthy which your doing !!


Full Member
and how do you work out what yours in? do u have to buy those special scales that tell u lol xx


Silver Member
Yeah, BMI is rubbish I think. I am a quite muscular person due to horse riding and my BMI is 28 and I am a size 10 so it really only works for some people.


Silver Member
I have used the special scales to "get an idea", but they are not always accurate. When I want an accurate reading I get the gym to test with "skinfolds".

There is also a "guesstimate" calculation that my spreadsheet does "Graph/Spreadsheet Sticky" to give an estimate. Again, not totally reliable, but it gives to an idea.



Gone fishing
Yeah, the BMI thing isn't very accurate to say the least.

My 17 year old gymnast son has a body fat % of 7:eek: (or 8...can't remember). High muscle %, very low visceral fat score (that's the fat that is around your organs). He's borderline overweight. BMI 24.9 or something which I find highly amusing.

My doctor prefers waist size as that a better predictor of future problems concerning weight.

So go to where you feel right.

But...having said that. I remember my goal being 13 stone, because I hadn't been under 13 stone for about 30 years. When I got there, people were continually telling me to stop (actually, had been doing that since I reached 17st :D), but I decided to explore unknown territory.

I think, deep down, my goal of 13 stone was because I could never imagine being slim. Subconsciously I labelled myself as an overweight person who had the chance to be a slimmer overweight person.

Others had done that too. I remember some accidently saying "but if you lose more, you'll be as slim as me:eek:" She didn't mean it in a nasty way, and weightwise she had a lovely figure. She just couldn't get her head around the fact that I wanted more than to be a leaner overweight person. I wanted to jump into her world.

I'm glad I pushed it down further.

Whatever you decide...just food for thought :)


can see the end in sight!
Great post KD as usual and some food for thought. i have set my goal to JUST within the healthy range, but i plan on building some lean muscle mass so i won't pay much attention if i put on a few while doing this. I don't usually pay much attention when my CD counsellor tells me my body fat percentage, i will ask her to do it next week when i see her. Last time i was about 35 % i think, with still 4 stone to lose until a healthy BMI.

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