Friday, May 22, 2009

The Dreaded Body Mass Index

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.8; Coinage = $.31, 21 pennies, 2 nickels; Glass Bottles retrieved = 8; Ground Scores = 3. Significant Find: Spotting a glass bottle, I deviated across the street from my intended path. Just in front of the bottle was a six penny curb scatter.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker must share a dirty little secret, according to the so-called Body Mass Index Scale, BMI, I am slightly overweight. The BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height. Great information and a BMI calculator are found at the National Heart and Lung websites.

For my height and weight, I should be in the 18.5 - 24.9 range, but I come in at 25.2. Yet everyone tells me how good I look. Still, the BMI is an established indicator of overweight/obesity and a reliable predictor of obesity-associated diseases. I may be at risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

BMI is only the first of three measures for assessing your risk. The second is the measurement of waist circumference which measures abdominal fat. My 36/37 inch waist line is under the benchmark of 40 for men and 35 from women. No risk there.

Measure three is the so called “additional risk factors” as shown in the list below:

• high blood pressure (hypertension)
• high LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
• low HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
• high triglycerides
• high blood glucose (sugar)
• family history of premature heart disease
• physical inactivity
• cigarette smoking

According to NHL, here is my prognosis in terms of being “at risk.” “Individuals (patients) who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have less than 2 risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight." Since I have none of the “additional risk factors” I am not at risk and need to continue the behaviours I am doing.

Still, I am setting a new weight loss goal; my new goal is 168 lbs., the amount needed to lower my BMI into the “normal” range. The MoneyWalker does not like the label, “overweight.” Join me, calculate your risks, and set your weight loss goal accordingly.

“What is that? Jackson’s 1 year birthday cake is just about ready. I’ll be right up with the ice cream.” I didn't say it would be easy.



  1. MoneyWalker, the good news is that the stand on, or double grip at home, BMI indicator is not the most reliable source. But being that your in the health buisness, I am sure I am not telling you anything you don't know. Keep walkin, i'm sure your doin better then most folks half your age!

  2. BMI = 25.5
    Yes, that's why I'm working on it. The only risk factor that I have is high bad cholesterol (nasty chocolate) but my physician is of the opinion that my very high levels of good cholesterol (daily flaxseed cocktail) offset that. I'm not sure. Also, I was cursed with an apple shape. (Thanks, Mom.)

    Five years ago I dropped 65 pounds through diet alone. Hopefully my goal of 15 in the next two months is doable. That should put that BMI back in order. Unfortunately, I'm not brave enough to post the progress, nor do I have a good set of scales.