Where Are You On The Global Fat Scale?

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The obesity epidemic is spreading all over the world. Below is a test, where you can compare your weight and BMI to those of people in other countries:

BBC News – Where are you on the global fat scale?

I was at the Malaysian level when it comes to BMI, however not when it comes to height. How did you score?

More

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Developing World Reaches a Billion Overweight People – Time for a Change?

Insane Fat-Fighting Strategy in the UK

42 comments

Top comments

  1. Boundless
    Whenever discussing BMI, it's important to admonish that's it's a largely bogus measure of nothing in particular.

    The principal problem is that BMI utterly fails to distinguish muscle mass and fat mass. It's a misleading metric in the class that includes TC, TSH and PSA (almost meaningless unless at extreme values, and for which much more meaningful measures exist but are rarely provided).

    BMI becomes a real hazard when employers, insurers, healthcare providers, regulators (and politicians generally), make rewards, guidelines, rules, judgements and punishments based on what is in fact a
    Baloney Metabolic Indicator

    Stop taking it seriously.
    Seriously.

    Replies: #20, #42
    Read more →
  2. Murray
    I use BMI every day - Body Mirror Image.

    If I can see my abdominal muscles in the mirror before my shower, all is well, eat to appetite. If I've lost abdominal definition, I cut back a little on my usual food portions until my BMI has been restored. I haven't used a weigh scale in over two years.

    Read more →

All comments

  1. Mark
    Mine says I am similar to someone in Sudan!

    I dunno if thats good. Lol

    Same BMI as Andreas but I am a bit (shuddup) older... :(

  2. Lori Miller
    Eritrea, a country on the horn of Africa next to Sudan and Ethiopea. I'd never heard of it.
  3. tw
    At 29 I come out as obese even though I'm built like a football player, and a fit one at that.
  4. Boundless
    Whenever discussing BMI, it's important to admonish that's it's a largely bogus measure of nothing in particular.

    The principal problem is that BMI utterly fails to distinguish muscle mass and fat mass. It's a misleading metric in the class that includes TC, TSH and PSA (almost meaningless unless at extreme values, and for which much more meaningful measures exist but are rarely provided).

    BMI becomes a real hazard when employers, insurers, healthcare providers, regulators (and politicians generally), make rewards, guidelines, rules, judgements and punishments based on what is in fact a
    Baloney Metabolic Indicator

    Stop taking it seriously.
    Seriously.

    Replies: #20, #42
  5. alan
    i say that bmi index is useless
  6. Mark
    I always give my Doctor..."the look" when he pulls out his BMI chart . 5'10" and 185lbs, will always put me at a High BMI (26 = France according to the BBC chart), however, 11% Body Fat is all i'm concerned with.
  7. Chris
    BMI is a useful scale for general population but not specific peoples. BMI actually underestimates body fat % on average.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.00...

    "BMI characterized 26% of the subjects as obese, while DXA indicated that 64% of them were obese"

    I use to be on the BMI hate bandwagon until I looked at the data. It is not great but it is a simple tool to give general outlines. It is wrong for healthcare to use it as the main number for rewards etc.

    Reply: #8
  8. Mark
    I have to look, but I think the correlation between height and waist is the one that is more reliable. My problem with BMI is when people look to apply it as a hard firm number, when as you stated, it's a good guideline for most people, however, if it underestimates body fat%...yikes, people who are a high bmi and overweight/obese, are most likely worse off than they think.
  9. Dave
    The average person is not going to overly muscled like most people who don't conform to the index..

    BMI is just one way of looking at the data. There's nothing wrong with using the BMI as a rubric as long the person utilizing the data understand it's a relation between height and body-mass. The reason why BMI so widely used is because it's the most cost-effective and least invasive of all the measurements. Its main application is for statistical nation-wide studies.

    So, if one thinks something is off about their own BMI, then it is time to resort to other methodology for more accurate findings.

  10. Lee
    Don't get the point of this. It's supposed to teach us ... what?
  11. MikeT
    As mentioned above BMI is a good measure at population scales. For individuals, I think a better one is the height:waist ratio which should be about 2:1 That is 72" tall, 36" waist. I have about a half inch I could do without, but then might have to give up my weekly treat :)
  12. Vicente
    BMI: 24
    Fat percentage (via caliper): 8%

    According to the BMI I am almost overweight.
    According to my fat percentage I am an athlete.

    BMI is BS.

  13. Murray
    I use BMI every day - Body Mirror Image.

    If I can see my abdominal muscles in the mirror before my shower, all is well, eat to appetite. If I've lost abdominal definition, I cut back a little on my usual food portions until my BMI has been restored. I haven't used a weigh scale in over two years.

  14. tz
    I also object. I'm wide. For example, I have EEEEEE feet, so shoes are a problem (but I swim fast). Wrists and ankles typically don't get fat, but I remember a co-worker where my wrists were bigger than his ankles. BMI? At the average of our two weights, he would be morbidly obese and I would be anorexic. I have negative buoyancy if I don't fill my lungs, but can go over a minute underwater if I do.

    Humans are three dimensional. So it is more than height.

  15. cndnrose
    My BMI is 32. I'm between Kuwait and Samoa, a higher BMI than 92% of women my age around the world. My height to waist ratio is .55 (consider action), but a loss of only 4 inches will bring that to .49 (healthy normal). I'd have to lose about 45 lbs to be at the global average, and only 33lbs to lose to match the Canadian average. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it just gives me some targets to aim for.
  16. Joachim
    Age: 27 (male).

    Height: 170 (meters).

    Weight: 64 (kilograms). Thin but quite muscular. I don't look like a skeleton at all...

    Country: France.

    Results of the test:

    Obesity index: 0 bmi.

    BELOW AVERAGE (hum...)

    You have a lower BMI than 100% of males aged 15-29 in your country [this sounds very surprising].

    You have a lower BMI than 100% of males aged 15-29 in the world [but I really look NOTHING like a skeleton!!!].

    If everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would remove 286,990,601 tonnes fromthe total weight of the world's population.

    You're most like someone from DR Congo* [Be serious, Please...]

    Joachim (on low-carb dieting since... a very long time.)

    Replies: #25, #28, #40
  17. Fran
    I live in Scotland and am Scottish - I eat full fat every thing, including the fat on the meat - no deep friend mars bars tho' lol !..............I am most like some one in Sweden so maybe us Scots are not as bad as we are made out to be. I also have a lower bmi than 66% of the female world. I am 59 and a size 10 and have always said, even before Diet Doctor started sending out his information that we get fat by eating too many carbohydrates and not exerising enough!
  18. Chad
    So people starving in African countries are the target? No, just lower average BMI not a healthy number… Overweight people live longer than obese, normal or underweight (Google it). I’m 15% body fat (measured with a bod pod) however according to my BMI of 30 I’m obese? I’ll get right on that lol. Without body fat and lean tissue measurements in the equation BMI is very misleading.
    Reply: #22
  19. Nicola
    Guinea, my BMI is 22
  20. tw
    My facetiousness obviously did not come across as intended.
    Replies: #23, #26
  21. RJ Bachner
    Uhhh it says I have a BMI of thirty even though I am very broad shouldered, heavily muscled and only a little chubby. I know BMI is in fact a nonsense number but the fact that it does not take build into account is puzzling....
  22. Nate
    Yes, Chad, I've read in several places that people older than say 55 live longer if they are overweight instead of one of the other three groups. I wonder if this has to do with insulin resistance. For someone who eats a healthier diet (less sugar and grains) all of their life, naturally start gaining weight as age related insulin resistance starts to ramp up.
    Reply: #24
  23. Nate
    Well, the EEEEEEE shoes did make me scratch my head and chuckle. I thought you must have a lot of Neanderthal in your genes.

    I worked with a dwarf who had a BMI that showed he was morbidly obese, which was not the case. Interestingly, his head was bigger than my size 8 head, which is big and makes it hard to find hats that fit.

    BTW, my BMI is 25 and I'm happily overweight at age 64.

  24. François
    The problem with this type of study is that BMI is only a number, initially developed by a Belgian mathematician (Adolphe Quetelet) to describe his fellow countrymen in one number. It had nothing to do with adiposity. It is only years later than the infamous Ancel Keys found that in the average non physically active American, BMI did correlate somewhat with adiposity. He changed the name from Quetelet index to BMI and "voilà!". We're stuck with that ever since.

    In the studies that show that overweight people fare better than very thin people, researchers are comparing numbers only. A thin elderly person could very well be thin because he was a chain smoker with lung cancer and severe muscle wasting. Thus a very short life expectancy.

    As people lose fat mass on LCHF and, should they exercise a minimum, will also gain muscle, their BMI may in fact either not change (but the disease risk would decrease) or even increase because muscle is much more dense than adipose tissue.

    On a personal note, I used to have an obese BMI. I lost a little adipose mass and I now have an overweight BMI of 28, mainly muscle mass. BMI may correlate somewhat to adipose mass in a sedentary non active population eating a SAD diet. It has no correlation whatsoever with adipose mass in athletes, firemen, policemen, military personnel and, should I add, people eating a LCHF diet.

    I don't follow my adipose percent with a scale: I use a tape measure. The abdominal circumference, which correlates with the dangerous intra-abdominal fat (except in one population, the very physically active sumo wrestlers). In these wrestlers, physical activity prevents intra-abdominal fat accumulation. This protection disappears as soon as they retire and stop being physically active and they often die at a very early age.

    My abdominal circumference tells me that I have no adipose problem. I'll stick to the tape measurement and forget the scale. And the Baloney Mass Index.

    Reply: #29
  25. Asbjørn

    ....Height: 170 (meters)....

    Probably above global average :-)

  26. Boundless
    re: My facetiousness obviously did not come across as intended.

    Sarcasm never does.
    As I recall from the early days, it was the internet's first victim.

  27. Mandi Kraft
    It says I'm like someone from Bangladesh - absolute rubbish, I'm overweight!
  28. Marijke
    Try 1.70 meters for your height. You need a decimal point. That will work better.
  29. BR
    "It has no correlation whatsoever with adipose mass in athletes, firemen, policemen, military personnel and, should I add, people eating a LCHF diet."

    I'm sure you're not talking about the donut ladden US policemen.

  30. victor
    I find it interesting that so many people think the BMI is useless because they're such studs when you probably couldn't find too many studs in the 70s
  31. jjwms
    I have been on lchf for a couple of years at my wife's urging, since my glucose was in the low 100's every morning. I have gone from 158 to 137 lbs, but now I seem to be too thin--everyone keeps asking me if I am okay. Any ideas on good exercises to build leg and hip muscles?

    My HDL is 58, LDL 298 and Triglycerides 130. Do you think I should back off on some of my fats (cream and butter) and switch to coconut oil?

    Replies: #32, #33
  32. Zepp
    Buy a dog and a bicycle.. take long walks whit the dog and take the bicycle to near places.
  33. Mark
    jjwms,

    What is your age and what is your height? Just from your post, it sounds as if you were "skinny fat", where your weight was not excessively high, however, your body fat % was high.

    For all age groups, you should look to add in some resistance (weight training) to help build/maintain muscle mass, and to increase bone density and strength.

    Basic leg strengthening can be achieved by doing "air squats"...google it and you'll see plenty of examples. Walking at a fast enough pace where conversation is difficult will also build leg strength. I would not back off of the fats, just look to increase you level of strengthening activity....slowly.

    While cycling is good, it is only so-so for hip issues, as a poorly fitted bike will only make hip problems worse.

  34. jjwms
    Mark and Zepp,

    I am 5'9" (175cm) and am 60 years old. Thank you for the information--it's very helpful. I checked-out air squats on google, so will start doing those. I have a stationary bike, so will begin using it again, but will pass on the dog for now.

    Do you think I need to worry about my high LDL?

    Reply: #35
  35. Zepp
    You are one year older then me and one centimeter shorter!

    Your LDL is high, but your HDL is higher then my own.

    In our age one have to have something to worry about.. you are not obese in any case, thats one less!

    You know LDL is a verry bad measure for anything.. if you realy like to know, take a APOb/APOa1 or a NMR!

    Becuse LDL can be small and atherogenic or big and boyant!

    And then when you know.. there are litle you can do about it.. except trying to ad a healtyer life style.. what that could be in your case!

  36. jjwms
    Thank you Zepp. I will get the test(s) you recommend to find out the LDL particle size.
  37. Mark
    The test Zepp mentioned is the one you want to get. Knowing what type of LDL you have is key.
  38. Zepp
    APOb/APOa1 measure the numbers of specefic apolipoproteins.. its a number game.. and that what moste importante!

    I think NMR is only in america.. and I think it says more.. like if LDL is big or small.. but its still a number game!

    So if one know ones LDL level and know they are mostly small, then one can predict that they are many.. its still a number game!

    Then when one know that.. one need to know the other risk factors.. like HDL levels, if one have high HDL and high LDL, the risk of LDL declines.

    And on top of that, high blood presure, high A1c, central obesety.. then you have a lot more that say if you are at risk.

    And then.. why is it a number game.. its becuse its about statistics.. those whit all or some of those risk factors have a higher risk for cardiovaskular diseases/happenings.

    Soo, if LDL is small, its not that good, but its still a number game!

    You can now take a leave for the coming working days becuse I provide reading for you for at least 5 days!

    Heres the easy to understand start;

    http://www.docsopinion.com/2015/01/18/cholesterol-and-heart-disease-a...

    Hers a seminar.. altso easy to understand.. and its only 1,5 hour to listen!

    He explain a lot on different apolipoproteis, he is a bit technical.. hes an enginer, i like that, im altso a technician!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuj6nxCDBZ0

    And here you get the hevy stuff.. Dr Attia goes through it like a scientist!

    http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-p...

  39. David
    Lol

    I'm similar to someone from Micronesia.

    I'm 226 lbs yet I don't look overweight. And my belly fat has been shrinking since I reduced my carbs

  40. Lonnie
    1.7 metres not 170 metres. Unless your like some hybrid human anaconda! lol!
  41. liz
    I get very despondent when I see BMI charts. I am officially 'obese', although I climbed Kilimanjaro last year; trekked across the Sahara twice and wear size 12 jeans. I am 5 stone lighter than I was 10 years ago, however, and I am still losing weight. I will have to lose another 3 stone to be in the 'normal' range but I am still a lot more supple and sprightly than many women of 64; even those considerably slimmer than me!
  42. Peter
    Like most measures, one must accept that there are limits within which the measure is useful. For the 80% of normal people out there with average muscle mass then BMI is a useful guide.

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