BMI question

curlyincollegecurlyincollege Posts: 175Registered Users Curl Neophyte
So I'm trying to determine if I'm at a healthy weight. Some of the BMI calculators I've seen online indicate that below 20 is underweight, and some of them indicate that below 18.5 is underweight. Does anyone know which is more accurate? Thanks, all!! :-)
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Comments

  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    At that point, more accurate is talking to a doctor to find out if your weight is healthy for you.

    I assume you're still in college by the username (not that you just still have that username now or something) and so it may not be possible for you to get good medical care (our medical was AWFUL in college) but if you can, schedule an appointment with a doctor and discuss how healthy the weight is for you.

    Depending on your frame size and eating habits, it could just well be a good weight for you. Also, at college age, many women are thinner with less body fat naturally, and if you're in any kind of sports or walk/ride a bike/etc. around campus, you're burning more calories than many mid-20s+ women. So for you, even if you're below the "healthy" BMI you may be at a weight which is healthy and reasonable for YOU.


    To actually answer the question- I have seen 18.5 as the number which defined underweight, though I think there has been some push to get that changed.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    18.5 is the number that I see more often than not. Like NetG said, checking with your doctor is your best bet to see if you are healthy despite your lower weight. My BMI has flirted with the anorexic numbers yet my doctors are always comfortable with the weight for me based on my lifestyle.
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  • curlyincollegecurlyincollege Posts: 175Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Your answers were both really helpful! I hadn't really thought about it, but talking to a doctor would definitely make the most sense to determine if I'm a t a healthy weight at this point in my life. I want to make sure that I'm keeping my body healthy. I really appreciate your input!!
    This site has released my inner PJ demon... :)

    I'm a 2b/3a in a perpetual search for the products that will actually give me a good hair day in this brutal heat and humidity!
  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    I also have a very low BMI but my doctors have always felt my weight was fine. I have regular periods and have never missed a period and I'm very healthy, so obviously my weight is not causing health problems, even though BMI calculators imply that I am either underweight or at the very low end of normal.
    3027585431_55b6195e50_s.jpg3028374752_0df4d81a1b_s.jpg3028422696_8dcef38baa_s.jpg
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  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I always heard 18 or 18.5 being the cutoff for "underweight."
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  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    iris427 wrote:
    I also have a very low BMI but my doctors have always felt my weight was fine. I have regular periods and have never missed a period and I'm very healthy, so obviously my weight is not causing health problems, even though BMI calculators imply that I am either underweight or at the very low end of normal.

    I think part of why they are helpful is because it helps people who are losing weight have a STOP NOW! sense, rather than telling a naturally thin person that they have to eat unhealthy to put on more weight or something. I think top BMI range similarly helps people who aren't exercising and eating well realize they should watch it. If you have a healthy lifestyle, are in good shape, get regular checkups and bloodwork and heart are all good, I don't think the BMI becomes as relevant.

    When I was in high school my BMI was around 17.6 at my heavier points.... and that was with me attempting to put on weight CONSTANTLY and with a lot of muscle to make me heavier from riding horses. It did actually affect my health, because I don't have a small frame. I knew it affected my health, but my body simply wouldn't allow me to have any fat at that point in time. In college I finally put on about 20 lbs, and was healthier than I had ever been.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    NetG wrote:
    iris427 wrote:
    I also have a very low BMI but my doctors have always felt my weight was fine. I have regular periods and have never missed a period and I'm very healthy, so obviously my weight is not causing health problems, even though BMI calculators imply that I am either underweight or at the very low end of normal.

    I think part of why they are helpful is because it helps people who are losing weight have a STOP NOW! sense, rather than telling a naturally thin person that they have to eat unhealthy to put on more weight or something. I think top BMI range similarly helps people who aren't exercising and eating well realize they should watch it. If you have a healthy lifestyle, are in good shape, get regular checkups and bloodwork and heart are all good, I don't think the BMI becomes as relevant.

    When I was in high school my BMI was around 17.6 at my heavier points.... and that was with me attempting to put on weight CONSTANTLY and with a lot of muscle to make me heavier from riding horses. It did actually affect my health, because I don't have a small frame. I knew it affected my health, but my body simply wouldn't allow me to have any fat at that point in time. In college I finally put on about 20 lbs, and was healthier than I had ever been.

    That's how my body is too--no matter what I eat or how little I exercise, I stay the same weight. I know it will probably change when I get older because my mom was the same way when she was young and now she has to work to keep her weight constant. But right now, it's not something I can control. I would actually like to put on a little bit of weight, but I can't.

    That's a good point about the BMI being an indicator for people when their weight is fluctuating.
    3027585431_55b6195e50_s.jpg3028374752_0df4d81a1b_s.jpg3028422696_8dcef38baa_s.jpg
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  • curlyincollegecurlyincollege Posts: 175Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    NetG wrote:
    I think part of why they are helpful is because it helps people who are losing weight have a STOP NOW! sense, rather than telling a naturally thin person that they have to eat unhealthy to put on more weight or something. I think top BMI range similarly helps people who aren't exercising and eating well realize they should watch it. If you have a healthy lifestyle, are in good shape, get regular checkups and bloodwork and heart are all good, I don't think the BMI becomes as relevant.

    Due to stress issues (that I'm managing with counseling), I've recently lost a lot of weight. I started to become concerned that I may be teetering on the edge of a less healthy weight, and that's what prompted me to ask about the BMI scale. But I absolutely agree that it's just a guideline; when I was much younger, I was always significantly underweight but otherwise perfectly healthy. I've been at a healthy weight since starting college, but it's just these past few months I've dropped a lot. It's just left me confused--should I be trying to gain, maintain? It's hard because I'm not losing weight on purpose, a concept that nobody seems to understand.Ugh. Sorry for the rant! I appreciate all of your helpful comments.
    This site has released my inner PJ demon... :)

    I'm a 2b/3a in a perpetual search for the products that will actually give me a good hair day in this brutal heat and humidity!
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I think for the naturally thin stress can easily cause loss of weight! (For a public comparison - Nicole Kidman has stated that she lost a lot of weight due to stress after her divorce w/ Tom) You're smart to be watching out. I think while you might want to try to increase portion size, make sure you're not just choosing to eat fattening foods w/out nutritional value. Instead go for foods which are actually good for you. Whether you gain weight or not, eating all kinds of transfats and grease is unhealthy!
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • curlyincollegecurlyincollege Posts: 175Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    NetG wrote:
    I think for the naturally thin stress can easily cause loss of weight! (For a public comparison - Nicole Kidman has stated that she lost a lot of weight due to stress after her divorce w/ Tom) You're smart to be watching out. I think while you might want to try to increase portion size, make sure you're not just choosing to eat fattening foods w/out nutritional value. Instead go for foods which are actually good for you. Whether you gain weight or not, eating all kinds of transfats and grease is unhealthy!

    That makes me feel better. There are those who simply don't believe that I'm not losing weight on purpose, which is just frustrating for me. I've definitely been trying to increase healthy caloric intake, but my appetite is pretty low, so it's tough to do. I definitely want to eat healthy foods, especially since I'm not getting a ton of nutrition right now.
    This site has released my inner PJ demon... :)

    I'm a 2b/3a in a perpetual search for the products that will actually give me a good hair day in this brutal heat and humidity!
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    BMI is not an indicator of health. It's just a very rough guideline. If you're worried, talk to a doctor or buy some Haagen Dazs.
  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Eilonwy wrote:
    BMI is not an indicator of health. It's just a very rough guideline. If you're worried, talk to a doctor or buy some Haagen Dazs.

    Agreed.
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.

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