According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) these are the body mass index (BMI) categories for your average adult human:
- Underweight: < 18.5
- Normal: 18.5 – 24.9
- Overweight: 25 – 29.9
- Obese: > 30
It’s a personal bugbear of mine that for all my adult life I have been labelled Obese by personal trainers and even medical professionals who can just about manage to plug weight(kg) / height(m)2 into their pocket-sized calculators.
So I set out to make myself feel better by calculating the current Springbok side’s BMIs.
|Willie le Roux||186cm, 90kg||26||FAT|
|Bryan Habana||180cm, 94kg||29||FAT|
|JJ Engelbrecht||190cm, 94kg||26||FAT|
|Jean de Villiers||190cm, 100kg||27.7||FAT|
|Bjorn Basson||185cm, 84kg||24.5||NORMAL|
|Morne Steyn||184cm, 91kg||26.9||FAT|
|Ruan Pienaar||187cm, 92kg||26.3||FAT|
|Pierre Spies||194cm, 108kg||28.7||FAT|
|Willem Alberts||192cm, 120kg||32.6||ORCA FAT|
|Francois Louw||190cm 114kg||31.6||ORCA FAT|
|Flip van der Merwe||198cm, 120kg||30.6||ORCA FAT|
|Eben Etzebeth||203cm, 117kg||28.4||FAT|
|Jannie du Plessis||188cm, 120kg||34||ORCA FAT|
|Adriaan Strauss||184cm, 111kg||32.8||ORCA FAT|
|Tendai Mtawarira||188cm, 120kg||34||ORCA FAT|
As we can see, the forwards are still the fatties, but BMI says so are the backs. Except skinny Basson who has the unfortunate honour of being labelled Normal.
So take BMI with a pinch of salt (but not too much, because half of medical professionals think salt is bad) and focus on living a healthy, active lifestyle with no calculators.
Disclaimer: Andrew knows BMI is a simple index and doesn’t really apply to certain extreme body types (very short, very tall, very muscular, very etc). But Andrew thinks that for precisely this reason (too many exceptions) BMI should not be considered a standard indicator and personal trainers in particular should have their calculators confiscated. Andrew also acknowledges he could lose a bit of weight.