BMI is known to be trash, what about body fat percentage? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-02-2011, 04:23 PM
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I just had an appointment at a GP about something unrelated. It's not a veg friendly GP but was the only person taking last minute bookings so I feel she was predisposed to tell me my diet was inadequate.

So just curious, since BMI is fairly commonly known to be inaccurate as an indicator of health, what about bodyfat measured on those electric scales? My body fat is 10% but I feel okay. The GP however said this was not okay, even if I was eating well ( which I am! Varied diet of protein, carbs and fats. Heaps of nutbutters, seeds, grains, root veg, soy milk, tofu etc. ) .

Has anybody else had a similar experience or have anything wise to offer about how I don't, as she said , 'have' to start eating meat ? I'm pretty sure I could gain weight even as a veg but too be honest , I'm already eating alllll the time and rarely hungry.

My skin and hair have never looked better? I can't be too lacking in nutrition!
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#2 Old 10-03-2011, 10:43 AM
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Body fat is a far better measure of obesity and health in general, however it is not very easy to get accurate percentage w/ o an expensive test ( water submersion). The electric tests are least accurate, the pinch test is better when taken correctly. 10% is quite low, are u male/female? An endurance athlete?
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#3 Old 10-03-2011, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for the reply I'm female and used to be a gymnast but am now just a generally active ( live in the city so I end up walking around a fair bit ) 27 year old I thought perhaps that fancy scale was wrong and if it's hard to get a good read on things like bodyfat, perhaps it did exaggerate things
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#4 Old 10-03-2011, 07:11 PM
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Well as far as bmi goes, i find the bbc have a good calculator as it's shows it as a graph and shows you the range in which is healthy rather then a straight value which i think is nicely presentedClicky here

You could consider getting a second opinion from a more open doctor? If you had a veg friendly one they would probably have more appropriate advice if they agreed with that one. I'm sure you could gain weight from any type of food if you ate enough of it, I mean there are plenty of herbivores that are huge in size like elephants, Rhino's or Giraffes for instance. Now apparently an African elephant eats 660 pounds of food per day (typical omni humans eat 4.7 but i don't know how much a veg*n would eat though) and they get that from grazing and eating bushes or leaves or twigs etc :P My point is that you don't need meat to gain weight, you just need to eat more (like more calories and bigger portions of stuff)

other that I just wanted to say that body fat% can show health problems which arn't clearly visible, for example i believe there is a certain place in india where simple and healthy (and i think vegan) diets are commonplace and the norm, there is a diabetes epidemic which clearly isn't caused by diet ;P, and the people with diabetes are thin but they have a really high body fat percentage (the same rate as an american fat person) so they're known as thin-fat, so you can actually be fat and thin at the same time, weirdly enough
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#5 Old 10-03-2011, 07:15 PM
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10% isn't anywhere near bad, and may even be bit low depending on a lot of things. Was the GP a perfect picture of health? They seem a bit rude, at least that's what I gathered from your post.
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#6 Old 10-03-2011, 07:40 PM
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Penguin Vampire, wow interesting! (As is your name, by the way! teehee)
I guess I always cringed at BMI and such graphs because it doesn't take into account muscle , bone structure or hydration. I guess it's all just an estimate though, right? Useful link! And yes, hefty herbivores abound. I'll stick to the diet I know and love and believe in I think, but if it does turn out that I need to be a bit chunkier, I'll just eat more of it ( I currently eat to satiety and frequently so that would mean eating PAST that point, which feels a bit wrong ).

Kris Oh isn't it? It looked, when I got home and googled, like 9 or 10% for women is too low and you need to be around 15% to have regular cycles, no boneloss and so forth and so forth. Perhaps opinions vary. I sometimes struggle to things in grey not black and white and maybe this is one ! Yep, the GP was rude and yep , they're normally all fairly dismissive of veg diets but other than shop around and ask I don't know how to find one that isn't. They don't exactly print it on their cards Hmm.
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#7 Old 10-04-2011, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenie25 View Post

So just curious, since BMI is fairly commonly known to be inaccurate as an indicator of health, what about bodyfat measured on those electric scales? My body fat is 10% but I feel okay. The GP however said this was not okay, even if I was eating well ( which I am! Varied diet of protein, carbs and fats. Heaps of nutbutters, seeds, grains, root veg, soy milk, tofu etc. )

10% is crazy low for a woman, but the good news is electric scales are wildly inaccurate so it's unlikely you're actually at 10% - unless you look like a bodybuilder or concentration camp victim

If I was where I would be, then I'd be where I am not, here I am where I must be, where I would be I cannot.
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#8 Old 10-04-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by leth View Post

10% is crazy low for a woman, but the good news is electric scales are wildly inaccurate so it's unlikely you're actually at 10% - unless you look like a bodybuilder or concentration camp victim

Ah. Cool. Won't worry then
* puts down spoon of unwanted second bowl of muesli and breathes sigh of relief *
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