Fat? Skinny? Normal?

June 11, 2008 at 12:01 am (Dieting and Fitness)

What does it look like?  I’ve been wondering that for a while.   I only just stumbled upon this Flickr series that shows what over-, under-, and normal weight (acc. to BMI charts) look like on real people.   The results are surprising in more than a few cases.  See for yourself: http://flickr.com/photos/77367764@N00/sets/72157602199008819/

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4 Comments

  1. GunMonkey said,

    I don’t trust the BMI. The quick-and-dirty BMI scale–height vs. weight–is just ridiculous. Plug in Sylvester Stallone’s numbers and it labels him obese. Stallone may be a lot of things (washed-up, narcissistic, dumber than a box of sticks), but obese is not one of them.

    I underwent the heavy-duty, calipers-and-everything BMI test at FLETC and lost all respect for it there. We had a guy in our class who’d been a college baseball player before going to seed after graduating, getting married, having kids, etc. He really enjoyed the chance to get back into shape and by the end of training had visibly slimmed down, lost most of his gut, and rebuilt some muscle mass. His graduation BMI indicated he was overweight. Our class decided the BMI is pretty much a crock.

  2. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    The problem with BMI is that it doesn’t take into account body composition. Body composition can have a significant effect on how “normal” people’s bodies look. I know plenty of people who are classified as underweight or normal on the BMI scale who are much “fatter” in terms of body composition than people classified as obese on the BMI scale.

  3. ashyknees said,

    Thanks for the link to the interesting series of photos. It’s great how most of the people in the pictures seem comfortable with their bodies.

    According to the BMI deal, I am obese. The term obese doesn’t really freak me out, especially in the BMI context, because it describes a discrete range of physical measurements, not the essence of my character. I got an alarming number from the bmi scale during a workplace health screening, but the buffed out trainer who was performing the tests said that the machine wasn’t very reliable and he certainly wasn’t alarmed. Neither my general practitioner nor any of the trainers at the workplace health deal seemed especially worried about my obesity, although at check ups my doctor usually advises me to do more cardiovascular exercise and a couple of trainers said “more resistance training.”

    The word fat doesn’t even freak me out. I’ve heard diet-following colleagues gasp and say “oh no!” when I’ve said that I’m fat (which I’ve said rather matter-of-factly when the subject of weight comes up). I suppose they associate the word with things that have nothing to do with the physical condition of my body.

  4. yoko said,

    I seem to remember that there are BMI measurement charts that account for things like gender, age, whether someone is an athlete, etc. I’m too lazy to do the search right now, but I’m sure they’re all over the intarwebs.

    According one chart, allowing for my race, it says I’m slightly overweight. (Stick-thin Asians are the norm?) But according to most charts, I’m within normal range.

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