The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

March 10, 2005

Shaq, What’s the Cuban Food Doing to You?

Overweight NBA Players? a Cautionary Tale

Miami must be treating Shaq well, because he’s obese. Yep, you heard me. According to Shaq’s BMI (body-mass index), he is obese. According to the above story, many NBA players are overweight. Even further, more than half of all NFL players are obese!

The finding follows a study of football players published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That research concluded that according to BMI standards, more than half of National Football League players are obese, and nearly all are at least overweight. The study’s validity was questioned by an NFL spokesman.

So what does this all mean? The BMI is a joke. Take me as an example. According to this handy calculator, my BMI is 27.9. Granted, I do weigh a little more than I should. But even if I got down to my target weight of 215, at which point I’d be one skinny bastard, my BMI would still be 25.5, still in the overweight range. However, if I started lifting weights and bulking up, my frame could easily carry 250 lbs and maintain a very low body fat. That would place me at a 29.6, just shy of “obese”.

I often tell friends who are trying to lose weight, that exercising and losing weight are often at odds. Since muscle weighs much more than fat, exercising may shed inches without doing much to shed pounds. The real reason most of us want to lose weight is for appearance, yet we focus so much of our energy on the scale. If you want to make an improvement on the scale, stop drinking water for a day. If you want to improve your life and health, forget completely about what’s on the scale. What you see in the mirror will tell you what you need to know.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:20 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Uncategorized


  1. I’ve been 6′2″ since I was 13 years old. For the next 9 years or so I maintained from 265-285, 7-12% bodyfat, a 36-38″ waist, a 19-20″ neck, and 52″ chest.

    The problem is that BMI is based on “average” waist, chest, neck etc… and makes no accomodation for muscle, or bonestructyre.

    Bascially it’s bullshit.

    While I was at my healtihest, running 2 miles and cycling up to 5 miles a day, working out a total of 4 hours every day, jumping out of airplanes etc.. my height and weight would have made my BMI from 34-37.

    Apparetnly to not be overweight I would have to weigh 190. The last time I weighed 190, I was 10 years old, and 5′6″.

    Did I mention the BMI was total bullshit?

    Comment by Chris Byrne — March 10, 2005 @ 5:02 pm
  2. You’re right; the focus on numerical weight is completely insane.

    It is, I guess, simpler, though. People like things to be easily quantifiable. They want everything to be like more money: more money the better; there’s not any particular type of money that’s better to have, etc.

    Whenever anything leaves the realm of things able to be compared numerically, folks go all wobbly.

    But yes: there’s no reason at all why anyone should give a shit what their weight is. I mean, if someone weights 600 pounds, yeah, they’re fat. But someone who weighs 200? It all depends. Someone who weighs twenty pounds less than that could easily be in worse shape, even ‘fatter,’ and certainly not look as good.

    Comment by dadahead — March 12, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

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