BMI: Big-Muscled Individual?

A simple question at coffee this morning–which country has the highest percentage of adult obesity?–produced a surprising result.  Some guessed the US to be the answer, and initial research (conducted not by me but someone with a real job–apparently it was a slow work day) seemed to support it, until someone else raised this question: what about Samoa?  More digging produced this chart from

The winner: Nauru, where 94.5 %of the adults are classified as overweight, based on Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height.  What I know about Nauru comes from the first story in this episode of This American Life.  It’s a fascinating tale, worth the 15 minutes.  Samoa placed 6th (80.4% of adults overweight), ahead of the U.S. which came in 9th with 74.1% of adults overweight.

These BMI results should be taken with a grain of salt–or a super-sized order of fries.  My BMI is 25.1, enough to include me among the 74.1 percent of overweight adult Americans.  I won’t win any body-building prizes but few would consider me overweight. We need a better indicator.



2 Replies to “BMI: Big-Muscled Individual?”

  1. Dave

    According to some BMI charts, 25 is the minimum to be considered overweight. I’m sure all with physical activity you do, you’re in better shape than most people.

    Also I only see muscle in the pictures posted. This must be throwing the BMI numbers off.

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