Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Body Mass Index for SCI

  1. #1

    Body Mass Index for SCI

    Hi all,

    I am trying to find a Body Mass Index chart for people with spinal cord injuries.

    I have a BMI chart for able bodied people, but I was wondering if such a chart exists, or if the formula for calculating the BMI of SCI people needs adapting.

    The reason the BMI is different for SCI people, is that although they may not look overweight, their body composition may contain less muscle due to atrophy, and therefor contain more fat.

    Many thanks

    Simon - C5/6

    Disabled Living & Spinal Cord Injuries

  2. #2
    This is a prime example of why the BMI needs to be dumped. It makes NO distinction between muscle and fat. Many elite athletes and bodybuilders are classified as "obese" on this's ridiculous.

    The government and the healthcare industry developed it as a simple way of deciding whether someone was overweight or not. If they instead would take the 10 or 15 minutes to calculate a true body fat percentage they would have a much better understanding of how healthy/unhealthy the population really is.

    I can use myself as an example:

    5' 10" 185lbs
    BMI= 26.5 (Overweight)

    However, I have between 14%, on a good day and 15% body fat. For a male my age that is a good to excellent body fat percentage.

    I will now step off my soap box and go back to lurking....

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walk®

  3. #3
    I guess once you start talking about incomplete injuries as well, the BMI charts really go out the window!

    So how does the average SCI person gauge how fit they are with regards to their body compostion of muscle and fat? Is there a way to find out how healthy we all are without going to a hospital, can it be done any other way?


    Simon C5/6

  4. #4
    We searched all over for something like this and were unable to find one. For this reason we just use the standard weight and height tables and adjust for the type of SCI. You can find this information in our handout on nutrition posted on the Food Forum here:

    Nutrition and SCI


  5. #5
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    NW Ohio
    There are studies underway at the university of Michigan that are looking at SCI BMI and other physiological factors. Eric participated but we don't have his data back yet for that part.

    AB wife of T8 complete para

  6. #6
    In the hospital here they say your BMI should be 10% under normal because of the muscleloss.

    20-25 is normal so what about 18-20.

    TH 12 incomplete 12-12-69.

  7. #7
    "In the hospital here they say your BMI should be 10% under normal because of the muscleloss."

    Do they differentiate between Para's and Quad's?

    I would of thought the muscle loss would be greater in a Quad than a Para, and therefor need a different weighting on the equation, maybe an extra 4-6% ?

    Also, I would of thought you would have to add 10% to your BMI, as the lost muscle would be replaced over time with fat. Although you may look a healthy weight, your body composition would actually contain more fat than an able bodied person.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts