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Question
Posted by: Allen | 2011/07/25

BMI

I''m 42 years old, weigh 100kg and am ± 1.83m tall. Your BMI calculator gives me a score of 30, i.e. " obese" . However, when you look at me, you will not say so and when I tell what I typically eat during the day will have to acknowledge that something’ s wrong.
I canoe for about 6 hours per week and have just finished the Berg River Canoe Marathon – one of the most gruelling canoe races on the planet. An obese person will not be able to do this.
Either my understanding of obesity is lacking or your calculator is playing up.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Allen
The BMI is a useful tool to judge if individuals who are NOT top athletes are overweight or underweight. In your case, and for most athletes with a high proportion of muscle tissue, the BMI will usually give an answer that is too high. You would need to have your body composition measured by other means such as skin-fold thickness measurements or electrical impedance. If you live in the Cape, contact the Sport Science Institute at UCT, where they will do all the necessary measurements to determine if you need to lose weight or not, although I doubt that you have a weight problem. Other athletes such as people who participate in road marathons and events like the Tour de France would be classified as anorexic if they use the BMI as their criterion of body composition. So all top athletes need to have their body composition assessed in a sports lab, such as the one at UCT.
Well done for completing the Berg River Canoe Marathon!
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/07/25

Dear Allen
The BMI is a useful tool to judge if individuals who are NOT top athletes are overweight or underweight. In your case, and for most athletes with a high proportion of muscle tissue, the BMI will usually give an answer that is too high. You would need to have your body composition measured by other means such as skin-fold thickness measurements or electrical impedance. If you live in the Cape, contact the Sport Science Institute at UCT, where they will do all the necessary measurements to determine if you need to lose weight or not, although I doubt that you have a weight problem. Other athletes such as people who participate in road marathons and events like the Tour de France would be classified as anorexic if they use the BMI as their criterion of body composition. So all top athletes need to have their body composition assessed in a sports lab, such as the one at UCT.
Well done for completing the Berg River Canoe Marathon!
Best regards
DietDoc

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