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I measure 31.5 / 23.5 / 33.5 inches... but my BMI is (just) inside "normal" - and above what some running places think is "optimal"...
I've read a lot recently that waist to hip ratio is the best indicator of general health (below 0.8 for women and below 0.95 for men). Makes sense to me... my BMI is a very "normal" 22.3 but until i started running I was only just below the line for a healthy waist size. Since I started running my weight has barely changed but the inches are falling off my waist...... is that any help to anyone?
Sports Nutritionist in training here. I've spent more time than I care to think about being lectured about the limitations of BMI.
In essence BMI is an indicator of body weight not fatness and as others have said it is not a sensitive indicator of fatness in people who are active/athletic etc. It has its limitations in the "normal population" as well. You can quite easily be in the normal BMI range and have a high body fat percentage and equally you can be in the overweight or obese BMI category and have a low or normal body fat measurement. Then of course what really matters is where that fat is deposited.
Calipers and the bio impediance scales (like the Tanita ones) also have their limitations. Calipers need a skilled person using to produce good results and they have a relatively large margin of error. And the bio impediance scales need proper hydration to give a good result and can also over estimate body fat in athletic people (if the wrong set of equations are used).
Waist measurement, waist to height ratio (less than 0.5) or waist to hip ratio are all good indicators of abdominal fatness (which is the fat that carries the health risks) that are easily measured. As long as you measuring at your natural waist which isn't always where your waistband falls .
But BMI is a very insensitive indicator and basically not worth the huge amount of importance that people have attached to it over recent years.
Using the Arnie example, isn't it a case that a persons heart can only support so much weight, and therefore, even if your whole body is lean muscle, by virtue of the fact that you're overweight it's putting a strain on your heart?
This is how i interpret the bmi scale, at least for people who are overweight anyway. And Arnie had a heart attack didn't he? But agreed it can't possibly tell you how much fat you carry.
ValleyGirl- yay for someone saying how useless BMI is! And yay for all the other people on the thread dissing BMI too.
I remember a few years ago a couple of my friends were convinced weight was a good measure of healthiness and although I weighed the same as one girl, she was a good 1-2 dress sizes larger than me- because I exercised a whole lot more, I had a lot more in the way of muscle mass.
Saying that, I've now gained a bit (lot?) of excess flab in the middle, really want to lose that as it'll look better and who knows, if I combine it with my increased training I might even hit 9 minute miles.... (I know that's slow for some people but I'd consider it fast for me!).
Not neccessarily - its is probably the widest bit! it is over the navel - relaxed but not breathing in and pulling belly in
lots of people -well men - wear their trousers under their natural waist -particularly if they have a large overhang - so think their waist is say 34 when actually it may be 4-6 " more when measured properly
waist circumference measurement or hip to waist ratio is about identifying people who have more abdominal fat (apple shape as opposed to pear shape) because this is thought to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes and is now used in conjunction with BMI to assess whether someone is within a healthy weight range - a bit of common sense observation will determine whether someones BMI is significant or not !
The waist isn't necessarily your skinniest point. It usually is. But believe it or not there is no actual agreement on this. I guess because human anatomy isn't actually machine like perfect.
In the UK the official measurement is the one the WHO uses. According to the WHO it is half way between your lowest rib and the top of your hip bone. Usually that is two fingers width above your navel as a rough guide.
D2D, I'm by no means an expert on this but I'm sure I've read before that it's your nutritional intake that determines your risk, not weight per se.
I think there's some research that puts this down to decreased oestrogen production in women who restrict calories.
Make sure you're eating enough calories as well as all the supplements. Your energy needs are clearly pretty high if you dropped half a stone without trying.