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CrackedChair
2017-07-04, 10:56 AM
I noticed on the base weight for races in the 5th edition player's handbook, the base height for Halflings is smaller than the Gnomes, yet the base weight is the same. Does that mean Halflings are rather overweight to begin with?

heavyfuel
2017-07-04, 11:18 AM
At my tables, yes.

While halflings aren't necessarily overweight, they most certainly are a bit chubby.

KillianHawkeye
2017-07-04, 11:29 AM
Well, Halflings were originally just Hobbits from the Lord of the Rings. D&D calls them Halflings because they had to stop using the word Hobbit, but that's still what they were throughout all of 1st and 2nd Editions.

3rd Edition changed the Halflings to make them a bit less obviously Hobbit-like, slimming them down and giving them shoes and whatnot. They maintained this fitter physique into 4th Edition, but I haven't really delved into 5th so I don't know if the Halflings have gotten chubby again or not.

I do know that Gnomes became less miniature dwarf and more fey-like in 4th Edition, and if that continued into 5th it might also help to explain the weight difference.

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-07-04, 11:36 AM
This is a bit of a thing with you, isn't it?

CrackedChair
2017-07-04, 11:42 AM
Well, yes...

Jay R
2017-07-04, 12:30 PM
Well, hobbits are. It depends on how far you go in filing the serial numbers off.

aberratio ictus
2017-07-04, 12:45 PM
Well, yes...

I hope you aren't that overt at your gaming table when you play your overweight sorceress (especially if you have women at your table), since I have to admit, you're slowly making me a bit uncomfortable.

Playing a character you deem attractive is fine (whether they fulfil conventional standards or not), but please don't use the character as some kind of sexual outlet.

Anonymouswizard
2017-07-04, 12:45 PM
Depends how well feed they are.

In my setting Halflings tend to be slightly stockier than gnomes but slightly shorter, and when they have access to food tend to become fat at a similar rate to humans. Conversely a gnome will tend to just not each as much as a Halfling, gaining a small layer of pudge that'll vanish after winter.

Then again my gnomes are dwarven in some ways, having an aptitude for anything quantified (they excel at both sorcery and engineering), just elven in others, while my Halflings are just short humans without the freakishly large head (even though that would cause a difference in memory capacity or something along those lines). So Halflings tend to pudge up a bit more, but they're not automatically pudgy.

(Although my world also includes fat gnomes, the eating less is at least partially a cultural trait)

CrackedChair
2017-07-04, 12:46 PM
I hope you aren't that overt at your gaming table when you play your overweight sorceress (especially if you have women at your table), since I have to admit, you're slowly making me a bit uncomfortable.

Playing a character you deem attractive is fine (whether they fulfil conventional standards or not), but please don't use the character as some kind of sexual outlet.

I'm not, really. It's just a question I had concerning what halflings are like.

I am sorry if it is making you uncomfortable, though. I just seemed to like the idea of a overweight character enough to play it out. I am not really into it as a kink or somesuch.

aberratio ictus
2017-07-04, 01:06 PM
I'm not, really. It's just a question I had concerning what halflings are like.

I am sorry if it is making you uncomfortable, though. I just seemed to like the idea of a overweight character enough to play it out. I am not really into it as a kink or somesuch.

Don't be sorry; I'm just a random person on the internet. :smallwink:

You just come across as someone who is into it as a "kink", as you put it, since you talk a lot about obesity on these forums, and that might be a bit off-putting to others at your table.

Honestly, it would be okay if you had a "kink" in that direction. I think almost everybody has a "kink" :smallwink:

It's just a good idea not to rub other people's faces in it, since more often than not, it makes them uncomfortable.

CrackedChair
2017-07-04, 01:07 PM
Don't be sorry; I'm just a random person on the internet. :smallwink:

You just come across as someone who is into it as a "kink", as you put it, since you talk a lot about obesity on these forums, and that might be a bit off-putting to others at your table.

Honestly, it would be okay if you had a "kink" in that direction. I think almost everybody has a "kink" :smallwink:

It's just a good idea not to rub other people's faces in it, since more often than not, it makes them uncomfortable.

Alrighty. Thank you.

CrackedChair
2017-07-04, 03:27 PM
Another thing to note: I play 5e and in the Player handbook it gives a flat weight modifier of 1 for each inch for the halfling's height, so I don't know what would classify as an obese Halfling.

I used some body visualizers for my characters thin and stout to get a good look into what they'd be like, but the halfling was too short to really be visualized. Could somebody help?

Mark Hall
2017-07-05, 09:46 AM
Another thing to note: I play 5e and in the Player handbook it gives a flat weight modifier of 1 for each inch for the halfling's height, so I don't know what would classify as an obese Halfling.

I used some body visualizers for my characters thin and stout to get a good look into what they'd be like, but the halfling was too short to really be visualized. Could somebody help?

While it's not a fantastic method, you can use the raw math of Body Mass Index, and then look for images with similar BMIs.

BMI=(Weight in pounds * 703)/Height in inches2

So, if your halfling is 41" and 64# (about average for a 2nd edition halfling male), your BMI is about 27.

http://reappropriate.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BMI2.jpg

You tweak a bit for racial differences, but that gives you a rough approximation.

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-07-05, 10:00 AM
You tweak a bit for racial differences, but that gives you a rough approximation.

Very rough thugh, in some cases.

BMI assumes that as someone gets taller their width does not increase in an equal ratio to their length. In other words: short people are relatively broader build than tall people. If they're not the height value would have a third power in there rather than a second. If you're take a person and would literally magic them twice as small in every way you'd make them 8 times as light and halve their BMI. Apparently this works rather well as far as (adult) humans go, but is it true for other fantasy species? Dwarves would be overweight on the BMI scale, as they're even broader than the BMI scale suggest, and in fact probably broader than much taller humans, given they tend to be shorter but just as heavy. Kender would have a low BMI with their petite childlike appearances. If halflings have the same proportions as much larger humans they will have very high BMI's and still not look fat, if they are relatively broader than humans, looking more like miniature dwarves, the scale probably sort of works for them.

aberratio ictus
2017-07-05, 11:58 AM
Apparently this works rather well as far as (adult) humans go,

It's actually fairly bad even then. I know a couple of men who should be morbidly obese as far as BMI goes, but who are simply tall and a bit muscular.

Joe the Rat
2017-07-05, 12:45 PM
Halflings are roughly half as tall as humans. So cube (root) that sumbeech.

If you have the same build, a 6', 180lb human would be about 22.5lbs as a 3' halfling. "Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 lbs"... so you are looking at around 320 at 6'. This suggests a pretty damn stocky frame - Dwarf-like, even (again, making halfling-dwarf and gnome-elf parallels). Classic Baggins.

They are also suggested to be able to pass for children (This comes up in the Adventuer's League info for the Rage of Demons season), so looking at growth curves... At 3.5 years, this would be 5th %ile height (really small) and 95th %ile weight (really heavy). Taller halflings actually fit the human curve better - approaching heavy 6-year olds.

5th ed art tends to favor a rounder, stockier style of halfling... though with exceptionally large heads and tiny hands and feet. I'd recommend ignoring that, and go more Rankin-Bass.

GungHo
2017-07-05, 01:08 PM
It's changed through editions for D&D. They started out as pudgy hobbit-like creatures... size of a child, proportions of a slightly portly adult with large hands and feet. In 3rd Ed, they became skinny and they got pointed ears (more like Kender from Dragonlance than hobbits), but with kind of strangely-oblong heads. In 5th Ed, they've gone back to being hobbits. There was no real reconciliation as to why they became kender and then went back to being hobbits.

Spiryt
2017-07-05, 01:08 PM
While it's not a fantastic method, you can use the raw math of Body Mass Index, and then look for images with similar BMIs.

BMI=(Weight in pounds * 703)/Height in inches2

So, if your halfling is 41" and 64# (about average for a 2nd edition halfling male), your BMI is about 27.

http://reappropriate.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BMI2.jpg

You tweak a bit for racial differences, but that gives you a rough approximation.

Well, as I pointed out in one of the other threads about adipose tissue TS is making, BMI doesn't really seem to be working for humanoids smaller than ~5 feet.

It was made for humans, after all.


~41'' inches children tend to weight more like 30 pounds, that's more than two times less than 64.


Of course, 41 inches children are usually about 3-4 years old, so that skews things a bit. Halflings are adult, and developed after all.

So they would probably have more muscle and skeleton weigh, but still....

That makes me think that damn, D&D halflings are seriously tiny, BTW.

Even with 'realism' levels of D&D them operating at the same rules as humans or orc adventurers seem off.

Anonymouswizard
2017-07-05, 01:29 PM
That makes me think that damn, D&D halflings are seriously tiny, BTW.

I hadn't noticed, although I have been considering bumping them up to dwarf heights anyway.

Out of interest, is there a good place to find child heights by ages? My google-fu fails me and I wanted to have halflings closer to 8-10 year olds in height next time I ran a game. I suspect I might have to make all the short races taller to get decent heights on them.

Although now I understand why Shadowrun limited short races to dwarves. Might do the same, and just have a few dwarf cultures (including a magical one, because why not. Those magic items had to be made somewhere).

hamishspence
2017-07-05, 01:33 PM
That makes me think that damn, D&D halflings are seriously tiny, BTW.

Even with 'realism' levels of D&D them operating at the same rules as humans or orc adventurers seem off.

This was noted in 4e's preview book Races & Classes - hence 4e upping them somewhat in height and weight.

Even before 4e came out - the D&D Miniatures, as I recall, showed larger halfling models toward the end of its run, than at the beginning - made it easier for them to be more detailed.

Spiryt
2017-07-05, 01:42 PM
I hadn't noticed, although I have been considering bumping them up to dwarf heights anyway.

Out of interest, is there a good place to find child heights by ages? My google-fu fails me and I wanted to have halflings closer to 8-10 year olds in height next time I ran a game. I suspect I might have to make all the short races taller to get decent heights on them.

Although now I understand why Shadowrun limited short races to dwarves. Might do the same, and just have a few dwarf cultures (including a magical one, because why not. Those magic items had to be made somewhere).

https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm

http://halls.md/chart-boys-weight-w/


http://static1.sfd.pl/1/images2005/20051217125514.jpg

http://static1.sfd.pl/1/images2005/20051217125659.jpg



Those 'halfling' ranges are of course for very young children in humans, so they cannot be just taken like that.

Adult halfling should probably be a bit bulkier/more muscled, because children aren't.

On the other hand, 3 years old are still not proportionate, they have huge heads compared to the rest, and skull bones weigh a lot....

Mordar
2017-07-05, 02:04 PM
It's actually fairly bad even then. I know a couple of men who should be morbidly obese as far as BMI goes, but who are simply tall and a bit muscular.

Actually, its great for adult people. Wonderfully predictive and nicely tied to morbidity and mortality data. Important to note: adult PEOPLE. As a measure of populations, not of a person. Yup, everyone knows the 400-lb guy who lived to be 92 years old, and the hyper-fit guy who dropped dead of a heart attack while training for his third ultramarathon. Neither of those mean anything when it comes to a discussion of the utility of BMI. The tool is super easy to use, inexpensive and does a good job of measuring what it is meant to measure. Just make sure you're measuring the right things.

That being said, your morbidly obese example is mistaken (assuming adults)...remember that height is included in the BMI calculation, so increasing height at a given weight lowers BMI. A "bit muscular" isn't going to get someone anywhere near a 40 BMI. Maybe a elite level body builder gets there, but even the linebackers or other high-muscle-low-fat positions are pretty unlikely to be in that category. You'd need to be 300# at 6', or 340# at 6'5". That almost always requires a LOT of body fat. The occasional very short athlete might have a hyper-inflated BMI (Mike Tolbert springs to mind, but even he only comes in at 36.2 BMI) while still being kind of lean, but he's an exception (and maybe not even that lean anymore).

- M

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-07-05, 02:15 PM
The occasional very short athlete might have a hyper-inflated BMI (Mike Tolbert springs to mind, but even he only comes in at 36.2 BMI) while still being kind of lean, but he's an exception (and maybe not even that lean anymore).

- M

Why specifically short athletes? (Your example is 1.75m/5'10" by the way, quite average.)

If you take a 1.50m/5' 50kg/110lbs person (round numbers for ease of use) and scale them up 1:1 to 2m/6'4" that person now weights almost 120 kg/260lbs, but if you scale them up in such a way as to keep their BMI constant they come in below 90kg/200lbs. (Conversions to imperial off the top of my head.) Wouldn't that mean it's if anything easier for a taller person to get a high BMI by being either very muscled or a little fat? That's what I always figured.

Psyren
2017-07-05, 02:15 PM
Not sure about 5e, but in Pathfinder, gnomes are (ever so) slightly taller and slightly heavier on average.

Mordar
2017-07-05, 02:58 PM
Why specifically short athletes? (Your example is 1.75m/5'10" by the way, quite average.)

If you take a 1.50m/5' 50kg/110lbs person (round numbers for ease of use) and scale them up 1:1 to 2m/6'4" that person now weights almost 120 kg/260lbs, but if you scale them up in such a way as to keep their BMI constant they come in below 90kg/200lbs. (Conversions to imperial off the top of my head.) Wouldn't that mean it's if anything easier for a taller person to get a high BMI by being either very muscled or a little fat? That's what I always figured.

Tolbert is pretty short for an NFL player...average height for a "normal man" but not for pro football...and his girth is greater than the average running back at that height (normally players in that range would be "scat backs"...sub-200 pounds). He's kind of a "bowling ball" player, so that's why I chose him.

There's an error in your calculation...the 5' 110# is a 19.5 BMI...that corresponds to a 160# at 6'4".

Since the height component is squared, increasing the height while maintaining the BMI requires a greater relative increase in the weight. For instance, a 1.5m 50kg person is BMI 22.22. With each percentage increase in height (m) you need around twice the increase in weight (kg) to maintain that BMI - so a 16% increase in height (to 1.74m) requires a 35% increase in weight (to 67.25kg) to maintain the 22.22 BMI. The taller individual has a squared-increase "advantage" in the denominator, so it requires a significantly larger increase in the numerator to get the bump in BMI.

So you could sort of say height is protective against a smaller absolute weight gain...but that is frought with peril and can easily be a misapplication of the BMI tool.

- M

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-07-05, 03:43 PM
The 5' 110# is a 19.5 BMI...that corresponds to a 160# at 6'4".

For instance, a 1.5m 50kg person is BMI 22.22.

Which one is it? These are the same rough measurements.
If I let this thing (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm) do the conversion for me it puts 5' and 110lbs at 21.5. That still puts my calculations off by about 30 pounds though. This can be explained by the fact I forgot 4 inches. 2 meter is 6'8". I got confused by Americans often considering 6 feet tall. That makes it feel like it should be close to 2 meters.


With each percentage increase in height (m) you need around twice the increase in weight (kg) to maintain that BMI - so a 16% increase in height (to 1.74m) requires a 35% increase in weight (to 67.25kg) to maintain the 22.22 BMI. The taller individual has a squared-increase "advantage" in the denominator, so it requires a significantly larger increase in the numerator to get the bump in BMI.
But thanks to the square cube law, if you'd actually upscale a person by 16% they would become 56% heavier. which means their BMI goes up. Your argument is based on the premise that a taller person will on average, at the same fat percentage and stuff, be just as wide and thin as a shorter person, the only thing changing is their height. That's not really the case in general.

Mordar
2017-07-05, 04:58 PM
Which one is it? These are the same rough measurements.
If I let this thing (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm) do the conversion for me it puts 5' and 110lbs at 21.5. That still puts my calculations off by about 30 pounds though. This can be explained by the fact I forgot 4 inches. 2 meter is 6'8". I got confused by Americans often considering 6 feet tall. That makes it feel like it should be close to 2 meters.

2 meters is just shy of 6'7", so it would need around 197 pounds to hit the 22.22 mark. Yes, I wish we all used metric. It would be better.


But thanks to the square cube law, if you'd actually upscale a person by 16% they would become 56% heavier. which means their BMI goes up. Your argument is based on the premise that a taller person will on average, at the same fat percentage and stuff, be just as wide and thin as a shorter person, the only thing changing is their height. That's not really the case in general.

I'm not sure that applies as I'm not using any width/girth assumptions at all. [Aside: Does your calculation assume that we as people are nicely cylindrical? I am now really curious about the impact of our horribly irregular surfaces on the relationship]. I just went with the BMI formula and applied the changes in units of height and weight and then calculated the relative differences. Specifically, if 50kg at 1.5m is BMI 22.22, what is the necessary weight at 1.74m to maintain BMI 22.22? What percentage increase was necessary in both cases (height and weight) and how do they compare.

Of course height isn't the only thing changing...our (population based) measure of their Body Mass Index accounts for changes in both height and weight, and is unconcerned with actual volume or density of the person.

My premise is only that it takes a greater fixed amount of weight change for a tall person to increase BMI than for shorter person, and that the relative increase in weight is significantly greater than the relative increase in height to mirror change in BMI.

Thus, the Freshman 15 is less impactful on BMI for the tall guy than the short guy.

It is even more difficult for a tall person to be morbidly obese (a defined term tied to BMI of 40) and have "a bit muscular" be an accurate assessment. That's why I used NFL players in my discussion - they are generally tall and (depending on position) very muscular (lean) or very muscular plus have a significant amount of adipose tissue. The player who I thought most modeled the chance to be just muscular but still having a BMI that might approach 40 was Tolbert...and even he missed it by a wide margin. Tackles on both sides of the ball (offensive and defensive linemen) could easily reach and surpass BMI of 40, but to misquote Ms. Mona Lisa Vito, "There's only two kinds of players that could have the weight and height to regularly get a BMI of 40, and those are offensive and defensive linemen, which could never be confused with just being 'a bit muscular.'"

Maybe it would have been better to approach this from a different angle. Using cutpoints of BMI 25 (top end of healthy), 30 (overweight), 35 (obese) and 40 (morbidly obese), and men of 1.8, 1.9 and 2.0 meters tall...it takes 16kg extra to move the 1.8m man from cutpoint to cutpoint, 18kg to move the 1.9m man and 20kg to move the 2.0m man. Moreover, that means the 2.0m tall BMI 40 guy is 60kg heavier than the top end of the healthy norm level for that height. No way that is considered a small amount of difference, even when spread out across that taller/wider/thicker frame, or is accountable to a modest change in muscularity.

Now...how far has this conversation wandered from pudgy halflings to weight-conscious whole-lings? :smallcool:

- M

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-07-05, 05:50 PM
[Aside: Does your calculation assume that we as people are nicely cylindrical? I am now really curious about the impact of our horribly irregular surfaces on the relationship].

No, it does not. It does assume that as we get bigger, we grow an equal amount in each of 3 dimensions.

Let's for instance say you have a cat. Your cat is 40cm long, without tail (I insist that this for simplicity's sake is exactly 1'4", whether that means I slightly miscalibrated my centimeter or my inch is up to you) and weights 5kg or 11lbs. Sounds kind of reasonable. Now I want to know how much a 2 meter (6'8", yes, I'm sticking with that one) long tiger weights.

I could say that the tiger is 5 times as long and thus 5 times as heavy, making is 25kg/55lbs. This is of course silly. That's not a tiger, that's a stretch cat, 5 times longer but no taller or wider.

A better guess is that the tiger is 5 times as long, 5 times as tall and 5 times as wide, giving it 5*5*5=125 times as much volume and thus weight. This would make the tiger 625kg/1375lbs. That's probably much closer to the truth.

BMI sits somewhere in between, it assumes that as our cat becomes longer it also becomes taller and wider, but not as much as it gets longer. Using BMI our tiger would come out at 125kg/275lbs. That's a bit on the light side for a 2 meter long tiger.

Of course we're dealing in extremes here, as well as comparing 2 different species. But the principle is the same. If a thing becomes x times as tall while preserving its proportions it will become x times as wide and x times as tall as well, making it x*x*x times as heavy (assuming the same density). BMI does not follow that curve. Apparently, if you'd shrink the average 2m tall guy down to 1.50m he would look be more slender than the average guy who was 1.50m to start with, because if he wasn't BMI wouldn't be a good measurement.

Now, looking at short and tall people I'm wildly guessing that we're closer to the proportional tiger model than to the stretch cat model. This would mean that if there is an error in BMI, it's going to be towards tall people having a higher BMI than short people at when having the same body type. If tall people would have a lower BMI with the same body type we'd be closer to the stretch cat model, people short and tall being roughly equally broad/slender in absolute terms.

The freshman 15 is not named after an exact number that's true for everyone. The heavier guys with larger bodies were already eating more. When everyone start storing 1% of their food intake as fat the big guys gain more weight. Assuming food intake is relatively linear with energy used, which should be pretty strictly related to active organ mass, someone who's two times as heavy, with the same body type, is going to eat about twice as much, and thus in this scenario gain twice as much weight. Their muscles aren't twice as strong, because strength is a property of the surface area of any single slice of muscle, but they do use up twice as much energy. But that's going into a whole different area of the square cube law, where we start explaining why things like running speed and jumping height seem to be barely correlated to the size of an animal while for instance absolute strength, relative strength and survivable fall height are anything but.

napoleon_in_rag
2017-07-05, 06:14 PM
I noticed on the base weight for races in the 5th edition player's handbook, the base height for Halflings is smaller than the Gnomes, yet the base weight is the same. Does that mean Halflings are rather overweight to begin with?

My first 5e PC was a halfling barbarian named Grimfell. He was on the heavy side for a halfling of his height but his body was all muscle. So he looked like a 3'6" version of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger#/media/File:Arnold_Schwarzenegger_1974.jpg

Edited for spelling

Mordar
2017-07-05, 06:44 PM
SNIP

I could say that the tiger is 5 times as long and thus 5 times as heavy, making is 25kg/55lbs. This is of course silly. That's not a tiger, that's a stretch cat, 5 times longer but no taller or wider.

A better guess is that the tiger is 5 times as long, 5 times as tall and 5 times as wide, giving it 5*5*5=125 times as much volume and thus weight. This would make the tiger 625kg/1375lbs. That's probably much closer to the truth.

BMI sits somewhere in between, it assumes that as our cat becomes longer it also becomes taller and wider, but not as much as it gets longer. Using BMI our tiger would come out at 125kg/275lbs. That's a bit on the light side for a 2 meter long tiger.

Of course we're dealing in extremes here, as well as comparing 2 different species. But the principle is the same. If a thing becomes x times as tall while preserving its proportions it will become x times as wide and x times as tall as well, making it x*x*x times as heavy (assuming the same density). BMI does not follow that curve. Apparently, if you'd shrink the average 2m tall guy down to 1.50m he would look be more slender than the average guy who was 1.50m to start with, because if he wasn't BMI wouldn't be a good measurement.

Now, looking at short and tall people I'm wildly guessing that we're closer to the proportional tiger model than to the stretch cat model. This would mean that if there is an error in BMI, it's going to be towards tall people having a higher BMI than short people at when having the same body type. If tall people would have a lower BMI with the same body type we'd be closer to the stretch cat model, people short and tall being roughly equally broad/slender in absolute terms.

I'll try to find some concrete numbers soon...this should be fun to investigate. Interestingly, 50th percentile male baby in the US is 50cm, 3.53kg, BMI 14 (wildly inappropriate population for BMI meaningfulness). Average male adult is 177cm and weight around 88kg, BMI 28. Height increased by 3.5x, weight by 25x. Ignoring the body composition issues, the model you have suggests the man should weigh about 43x as much, right? If we upgrade from newborn to 3 year old, we get 95.4cm and 14.3kg, BMI 16. To go from 3yo to adult we increase height by 1.85x, weight by 6.15x. The equal growth in all areas suggests it should be 6.3x, so that's a lot closer. A glaring weakness here is the fact that obesity/overweight rates for the adult are in excess of 50% in the US, skewing the average, while toddler rates are much much lower, so this is more than just body growth, it is lifestyle change as well.

But anyway...

BMI is predicated on insurance M&M data - the ratio was identified as a highly accurate predictor of early death, heart disease, etc., across a wide population. It was not, I believe, developed as an anthropometric model. An Oxford mathematician addressed it from a strictly math perspective and recommends the exponent be raised from 2 to 2.5.

So in that regard, he suggests that the BMI value should change, but that it wouldn't be tied to the same cutpoints from the M&M data.

But I think that continues to support my premise that it would take even more additional mass to increase BMI in taller folk...BMI 40 will always be noticeably very large and it takes a lot of weight gain to go from BMI 35 to BMI 40...particularly as the subjects get taller.


The freshman 15 is not named after an exact number that's true for everyone.

Well sure, but...


The heavier guys with larger bodies were already eating more. When everyone start storing 1% of their food intake as fat the big guys gain more weight. Assuming food intake is relatively linear with energy used, which should be pretty strictly related to active organ mass, someone who's two times as heavy, with the same body type, is going to eat about twice as much, and thus in this scenario gain twice as much weight. Their muscles aren't twice as strong, because strength is a property of the surface area of any single slice of muscle, but they do use up twice as much energy. But that's going into a whole different area of the square cube law, where we start explaining why things like running speed and jumping height seem to be barely correlated to the size of an animal while for instance absolute strength, relative strength and survivable fall height are anything but.

...this opens up tons more complexity. Caloric consumption, utilization and storage depends on so many more things than just starting weight...and I think what is frequently presented as BMR (basal metabolic rate) is far too often really a calculation of what amount of calories are required to remain weight-neutral. That's not a great starting point, IMO. Probably best to save this one for another thread. :smallbiggrin:

- M

AMFV
2017-07-05, 06:54 PM
BMI is predicated on insurance M&M data - the ratio was identified as a highly accurate predictor of early death, heart disease, etc., across a wide population. It was not, I believe, developed as an anthropometric model. An Oxford mathematician addressed it from a strictly math perspective and recommends the exponent be raised from 2 to 2.5.

- M

You are actually mistaken. BMI was not invented by insurance companies and has been shown to not correlate strictly with morbidity and mortality rates (waist to height ratio would be a much better tool for that). Typically BMI is used by insurance companies to spike rates, which makes sense, since not many individuals at high BMI are likely to be as healthy as lower ones, with a few significant exceptions.

BMI was invented in the 1850s. Long before Medical Insurance came to power and regular usage, and it was used for studying population demographics, to see what percentage of the population was under or overweight, basically to kind of get an idea about food consumption across the country.

RedMage125
2017-07-05, 10:29 PM
Well, Halflings were originally just Hobbits from the Lord of the Rings. D&D calls them Halflings because they had to stop using the word Hobbit, but that's still what they were throughout all of 1st and 2nd Editions.


Not accurate.
Maybe in OD&D and 1e AD&D they were "Hobbits", but I started playing D&D in '96-ish, in 2e AD&D, and they were called "Halflings"

Mind you, the artwork LOOKED exactly like Hobbits (short, fat, big hairy feet), but they were not called that.

aberratio ictus
2017-07-06, 02:34 AM
@ Mordar: I'm just telling what I have experienced. :smallwink: We're talking about a 30+ BMI here, though, not a 40 BMI. But a 30+ BMI is still considered to be obese, which was... obviously not the case.

Anonymouswizard
2017-07-06, 02:59 AM
Not accurate.
Maybe in OD&D and 1e AD&D they were "Hobbits", but I started playing D&D in '96-ish, in 2e AD&D, and they were called "Halflings"

The name wasn't what was being talked about. Only OD&D called them hobbits.

In BD&D they were called halflings, and were short, pudgy to fat, and thiefy. Hobbits under another Tolkien name.

In AD&D they were called halflings, and were short, pudgy to fat, and thiefy. Hobbits under another Tolkien name.

In AD&D 2e they were called halflings, and were short, pudgy to fat, and thiefy. Hobbits under another Tolkien name.

In D&D 3e they were called halflings, and were basically a more acceptable form of Kender.

I can't remember what they were like in 4e except they were called halflings, a bit taller, and the PhB illustration looked slenderish.

In D&D 5e they are called halflings, and are short, pudgy to fat, and thiefy. Hobbits under another Tolkien name. Because that's what people remember, basically.

(for the record, in Victoriana 3e they're called Hudlufolk, but are still hobbits. Despite it being a steampunk/Gaslamp fantasy setting and unrelated to D&D beyond the races.)

Mordar
2017-07-06, 12:18 PM
You are actually mistaken. BMI was not invented by insurance companies and has been shown to not correlate strictly with morbidity and mortality rates (waist to height ratio would be a much better tool for that). Typically BMI is used by insurance companies to spike rates, which makes sense, since not many individuals at high BMI are likely to be as healthy as lower ones, with a few significant exceptions.

BMI was invented in the 1850s. Long before Medical Insurance came to power and regular usage, and it was used for studying population demographics, to see what percentage of the population was under or overweight, basically to kind of get an idea about food consumption across the country.

Fair enough - an anthropometric measure similar to BMI was in use prior to the 1900s but with much less specification for impact on health or wellness. Life insurance data collected in the earliest parts of the 20th century indicated the significant link between "body weight, adjusted for height" as an independent determinant of life expectancy. This was corroborated and expanded via a 4M subject cohort in the 30s and 40s, leading to publication of the body weight for height tables by Met Life, and subsequently in the 60s they published data linking it to disease risk and death risk (M&M).

Not long after it was determined that correction was needed - tall people were slightly less likely to suffer the predicted effects - and so they tried to use frame size to get a better indicator. A bunch of variations were proposed, and they ended up with an exponent for height...but not 2. The best fit was between wt/ht^1.6 and wt/ht^1.7 - neither of which was swell for quick population-based application. So they rounded to wt/ht^2. Which, as you mentioned, was the measure suggested back in the 1800s. Funny circle.

Keys later attacked the MetLife tables, harkened back to the 1800s methodology and coined the Body Mass Index, indicating it as being more predictive of M&M risk that the tables. In the 1990s WHO eventually adopted BMI classifications as guidelines for risk. Massive population studies like NHANES have been used to cross-tie BMI with health risk because it is a simple, accurate and potent epidemiological tool for population health. Peer reviewed studies are still published regularly that show a significant link between BMI and heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, stroke, arthritis (this one is very interesting to me and chicken/egg discussions are fun...but it seems clear that even if the arthritis isn't caused by obesity it is certainly exacerbated by it) and others. Don't sell the tool short because people don't always use it correctly. It isn't the hammer's fault someone tried to use it to fix a television screen.

The basic anthropometric measures were in existence prior to the life insurance data and the MetLife tables, yes...but the insurance data and tables is what spurred the broad use of anthro measures to assess disease risk and lead to the revisions that brought the original 1800s measure to prominence and coined the actual BMI term.

Our discussion here has hammered on the weakness of BMI - it does not differentiate between lean mass and fat mass. It is limited as an anthropometric tool, and that limitation is far too frequently used to discount what the data shows. Far too often the refrain is "Athlete so and so has a 35 BMI and he's in great shape, so my 38 (or 32 or whatever) isn't so bad" - the exceptions do not disprove the rule, or in this case the population-based findings. So while you say they are "significant exceptions" that is true only in the non-statistical sense. Yes, we all know that guy who is 4% body fat and weighs 220 so he tracks as overweight or obese...but we all (at least in America and most of the "western world" know a lot more of the guys who have the 30+ BMI and are 30% fat...

tl;dr: BMI is absolutely tied to M&M risk, significantly correlated with a number of high mortality, high cost diseases. But it is not an individual tool, it is a population tool. WHR is better, and there are indications that simple W circumference is as good as WHR. Waist-to-height is also gaining traction as a measure of risk, but I think primarily in children. BMI, WHR, W and W/H are all anthropometric measures which makes them easier to collect and handy to consolidate. Properly applied, skinfold thickness improves on the circumference-based measures and speaks more closely to body fat, but it takes much more training than you might think, and intra- and inter-investigator error is huge in all but really experienced users. Even better are true body composition and fat distribution tools like CT and DXA...but the expense is seldom justified in non-academic settings.


@ Mordar: I'm just telling what I have experienced. :smallwink: We're talking about a 30+ BMI here, though, not a 40 BMI. But a 30+ BMI is still considered to be obese, which was... obviously not the case.

You used the keyword "morbidly" which ties to a BMI of 40...so that's what I was working from. I should have seen that it was being used colloquially, particularly as there are a number of different "scales" in use these days, even for BMI. You're right that for specific individuals it is a funnily bad measure - TONS of elite, hyperfit athletes count as "obese" by BMI...as do some pretty fit normal dudes. I'm sure you're experience is true and common...but I bet you have seen 100x as many people that are 30+ BMI and aren't fit...and are properly classified as overweight/obese.

- M

Pugwampy
2017-07-06, 06:55 PM
Tolkiens hobbits eat 6 meals a day if they can . Growing and eating food is a source of great enjoyment among the hobbits, who love to entertain their friends and families

Hobbits enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other flora: apples, turnips, carrots, onions, mushrooms, corn, blackberries, and pickles. We know also that Sam is fond of potatoes and they are the Gaffer's delight. As the hobbits pick blackberries, they probably also pick other seasonal berries, for eating and for tarts and jams, such as the raspberry jam requested by Bifor. They collect honey and eggs. It seems the hobbits are also fond of—and probably make their own—cheese, butter, bread, and preserves. They've mastered the art of baking; seed-cakes, fruit tarts, scones, and pies are all favorite hobbit fare.

We also know that hobbits have a passion for mushrooms, surpassing even the greediest likings of big people.

GrayGriffin
2017-07-06, 09:20 PM
Honestly all this is assuming that all races run on the same calculation of BMI and body shape. It's perfectly possible that halflings are heavier on average but not necessarily chubbier than average.