Why I think BMI is crap
Ok, so a new study by the New England Journal of Medicine says that caucasian men with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 have a 44% higher risk of death than those with a BMI below 30. This isn’t groundbreaking news, but this particular study is getting attention because it pooled data from 19 different studies, which allowed researchers to exclude people such as smokers, etc.
So what’s the ideal BMI? Between 20 and 24.9. (To get your BMI multiply your weight in pounds by 702, divide that answer by your height in inches, and then divide that answer again by your height in inches. Or use this calculator.)
I have a 32 BMI, which means I’m obese. (I’m 6’1″ – 6’2″ and weigh just under 245 lbs. For simplicity’s sake, I used the measurements 6’1″ and 245 lbs. in this post.) So for me to make it into that golden bracket I’d have to weigh 180 lbs. I repeat, I would have to lose 65 lbs. 6’1″ at 180 lbs. That’s insane. I weighed 180 lbs. back in college when I was full-swing into my vegan diet and that was was way too low for me. I looked anorexic. I find this study very misleading. I’ve always thrown BMI out the window because it doesn’t account for how lean a person may be. In addition, it doesn’t take into account your lifestyle, do you exercise, do you swim, do you just sit down and watch TV. In other words, it’s too formulaic for so many different body types and lifestyles. And now this study says you have to be under 24.9 to be healthy — that’s just insane.
If you hit that number, more power to you. But I would not obsess over this formula. I’d rather focus on working out as often as possible and lowering your body’s fat percentage.