Aug 24, 2015  •  In Information, Science

5 feet 9 inches, 172 pounds

These renderings were made from the body scans of six different people, all who were 5 feet 9 inches tall and 172 pounds.

same_bmi_different_body_compositions
V = the body’s volume, or the amount of fluid that would fill a container the same size as the body, in liters.

With a BMI of 25.4, they are all technically considered overweight. But as you can see, each body shape is vastly different from the others, with different muscle mass, fat compositions, and (although you can’t tell from the illustration) bone density.

Can we stop using BMI as an indicator of health already?

Via The New York Times.

3 Responses to “5 feet 9 inches, 172 pounds”

  1. Ayesha:

    Ugh. YES. Thank you for posting this! BMI doesn’t tell you anything if only measured by height and weight. I know I am overweight, but my new doctor made quick assumptions about me based on the information on paper before she even saw me. I left that appointment feeling frustrated and with low self-confidence because I know what to do to lose weight but also to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but she acted like I had never seen the inside of a gym before or eaten a salad. It doesn’t work the same for everyone, and looking at me wouldn’t tell you that I’m on the cusp of obesity. I wish people would be more considerate when talking about weight, especially health professionals. End rant.

    • Completely understand. I have thick, dense bones (the upside? I’m at low risk for osteoporosis) so even at my fittest, I’m still at the high range for “normal” on the BMI scale. I hate it when doctors even mention BMI!

  2. Meghan A:

    That is just plain amazing.

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