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    College football linemen can have BMI of up to 34 without being overfat

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, May 14, 2007 7:49 am Email this article
    Obesity is a matter of being overfat, not just overweight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a very imperfect way of trying to determine who is overfat. A study of athletes from Michigan State University found that college athletes can, in some cases, have a much higher than normal BMI without being overfat. Overfat Defined

    Overfat: 20% for a man, 33% for a woman

    The definition used in this study for being overfat, which was supposed to correspond to being classified as overweight, normally considered to be as having a BMI greater than 25, was having more than 20 percent bodyfat for a man, and more than 33 percent bodyfat for a woman.

    BMI’s that corresponded to this level of bodyfat were as follows:



    Conclusion: BMI should be used cautiously when classifying weight status of college athletes.

    “BMI should be used cautiously when classifying fatness in college athletes and nonathletes.,” the paper concluded.


    Ode J, Pivarnik J, Reeves M, Knous J. Body mass index as a predictor of percent fat in college athletes and nonathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Mar, 39(3):403-09.


    Department of Kinesiology
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI, USA

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