This also relates to my post on the 3 big elephants.
If you have been paying attention to the analysis coming out on BMI then you should check it out.
Most of the statistics come from the CDC government website which indicate that “More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese” with similar numbers being overweight through 2011-2012. This means that about 2/3rds to 7/10ths (67-70%) of the population is obese or overweight combined. Now, the data is drawn from the oft cited BMI which many people have touted as inaccurate because you can have a lot of muscle and be overweight or obese. This is why analysis of those with certain amounts of BMI over a statistical population is important.
Given the chart above we have:
- 12% of men over 25 BMI (overweight) have less than 25% bodyfat.
- 6% of men under 25 BMI (normal or underweight) have more than 25% bodyfat
- 3% of women over 25 BMI (overweight) have less than 35% bodyfat.
- 15% of women under 25 BMI (normal or underweight) have more than 35% bodyfat
Thus, in general, BMI is generally a fairly good predictor of overweight status compared to underweight and normal weight. It predicts >80% of the population in these categories which is pretty solid.
The percentages are particular disturbing in regard to men and women. Men will tend to be more likely to be overweight having more muscle and fat-free body mass if overweight than underweight and fat. However, the scary part is that there are more women that are supposedly normal and underweight that have >35% body fat percentage which is considered overweight.
Just so you can kind of get a feel for what 35% fat percentage in women looks like here are some charts (may be NSFW):
The 30% woman in the 2nd chart is probably a more realistic indicator of 30% body fat than in the first chart. The woman in the first chart wears her body fat extremely well and looks like she has good curves, but the vast majority of women do not wear it that well.
Generally, I would say that the vast majority of men like their women int he 15-25% range with the majority centering in around the 20% mark. Though curves do matter in some sense, as long as there is not too much extra “padding” as it were. Thus, the fact that we’re talking about 35% in terms of what being “overweight” means for women you’re already 10-15% bodyfat out of the ideal for most men.
An extra 10% bodyfat on a 20% body fat 5’4″ 120 lbs woman is 12 lbs bringing her to 132 lbs total, yet the average American women is now 5’3.8″ and 166 lbs.
For reference, Marilyn Monroe’s weight at 5’5″ supposedly fluctuated from 118 to 140. Even if we assume that the average weight for a 5’4″ woman is 140 and that she wears it well, then it’s still a 20% increase in fat weight from there to 166 lbs.
Essentially, my main point is that not just 70% of women are supposedly overweight or < 30% of the female population at best. Probably worse because overweight doesn’t take into account the female population within the 25-30% range as overweight which includes a lot of the female population that are < 25 BMI with >35% body fat.
This is exactly why I prize women who workout and eat healthy because the vast majority of people — men and women — are unattractive solely because of their weight. This is not to mention anything about personality and other factors.
If you want to maximize your pool of potential spouses then you absolutely should be sleeping well, working out, and eating right to get to a healthy athletic weight. No ifs, ands, or buts on this really.