# Stone (14 pounds) is this still in common use?

I write a lot of online calculators, converters, etc. I am now working on a Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator. All of the calculators I have seen online do NOT have a provision for inputting a person’s weight in stones. So, I was wondering if people still use this unit of measurement. (In the USA its usage is practically nonexistent). And despite efforts to popularize the Metric System (SI System), some people still like to cling to old ideas. So do people, particularly in the United Kingdom, still think of their weight in stones? Do the scales have readouts in stones, do doctors record people’s weights, and calculate medication doses in stones, etc?

It is very much in use in UK, I wouldn’t know my weight in pounds, but it was about 13 stone.

Yes.

Yes.

Depends on the doctor, I imagine. Probably older doctors tend to use stones, younger ones kilos.

Nobody in the UK thinks of their weight in pounds. I always have to mentally calculate into stones whenever I hear “the suspect weighs 250 pounds” or something similar in a US film or TV show.

Before metric came in, we used stones for body weights in Australia too. Some older people would still think in stones; most people think in kilos; only those influenced by the US think in pounds.

I use stones.

When you use stones (= 14 pounds), that seems like a pretty large unit.

So how does it work for dieters? I’ve known people who were dieting, and who were seriously concerned about a small weight gain: “I’m up nearly a whole pound since yesterday!”. Going from 11 stone to 12 stone is a pretty big weight change; dieters are generally concerned about much smaller changes.

So how do you state it if you want to be more precise than “about 13 stone”?
Do you say “12 stone, 9 pounds” or “12.64 stone” or what?

“12 stone, 4 pounds” would be the normal way.
Doctors probably record it in kilograms now, the way our masters want us to do it. :mad:

You just use pounds for small amounts. For small variations in large amounts, it’d be given in the format you suggested: “12 stone, 9 pounds”. Never “a quarter of a stone” or “four fifths of a stone” and absolutely never “point such-and-such of a stone”. One of the American habits we find unusual here is the willingness to use a decimal point in Imperial measurements (though don’t ask us why it’s a bad thing). Here, decimal = metric, and the old units are always used with “… and seven-eighths” type fractions.

As Giles pointed out, stones are still widely used in metric Australia (I was born in the metric era, but always use stone if I can. I use feet and inches too - but metric for measuring everything non-human). Even my non-metric parents would have to stop and calculate if an American gave his or her weight purely in pounds. It would be as alien as saying “I’m seventy-one inches tall”, or “that town is forty-nine thousand, four hundred feet from here”.

I have a couple of Irish friends (Irish citizens, not Irish-Americans) and they both know their weight in stones.

In another topic someone was asking for a medical diagnosis, and mentioned that he was “a stone overweight.” I was about to suggest that this might be the problem, and that he should have his doctor check to see if the stone in question is a kidney stone or gall stone. Unfortunately, the thread was already closed.

I never used to, but after importing Fierra and having her scales in the house, all I can think of is stone for weight. But I’ve only ever seen stone used for human or animal weight, not for product weight. I’m sure some still use it for that, however.

Una, 9 stone even.

Okay, my **Body Mass Index Calculator ** is on the Internet:
http://www.1728.com/bmi.htm

I might be presumptuous here, but despite all the “BMI” calculators on the 'Net, I think mine is the only one that will accept input in kg, grams, stones, pounds, meters, centimeters, feet and inches. And yes, if you wanted to enter a weight value of 10 stone 5 pounds, it will calculate it properly.

Once again, my parents are very proud of me.
Please let me know what you think.
The instructions are just “bare bones” and I will be adding more.

Well, who’s a clever Mr WolfMeister, then?

I do think you are right about it being the only one to deal with stones. Recently I went a-hunting for similar calculators (cos my parents complain I am too thin. ! ? :smack: Strange people! Anywya, my poit is that I simply got used to lazily grabbing a calculator and translating into pounds.

Gold star for you.

We really should be thinking in kilos in the U.K. fo rnow, but I do think most people think of their weight in stones.

The weight events in World’s Strongest Man competitions are often done with stones.

Celyn
Well thank you.
I’m glad I have filled a long-neglected Internet niche.

Slick Roenick
Thanks for the information. It’s nice to know the non-metric system is still being used - only because I do write calculators for these - as well as the standard, accepted metric (System Internationale) units.

Here in the USA, it is VERY difficult to find tape measures in anything but feet and inches. Also, scales here almost always display pounds.

Strange then that in the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary — set in England, with a cast of entirely English characters — the lead tracks her weight in pounds over the course of the year. Or anyway, those were her chosen units in the version I saw here. Perhaps there’s a UK version of this movie in which she uses stones and pounds?

(And an Australian version in which she uses kilograms?)

I can’t recall how B. Jones counted her weight in the book (have not seen the film) but, considering she was rather more than averagely interested in wieght and calories, I suppose counting in pounds makes sense, if you need small enough quantities to track it practically day by day.)

I still like the bit about

Drinks - N (drowning sorrows)

Calories NNNN (smothering calories in fat duvet)

I suspect that BJ used pounds to make the meaning clear to a US audience. I don’t think there are two versions of the movie – like there are of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone – but I could be wrong.

I think your little thingy that does the calculating is not working right. It said I was overweight. That can’t be true. Absolutely not. No way.

My digital scale somehow started giving my readout in stones (I’m not sure why, but one morning, there it was). So that is how I think about my weight.

The smaller number is much more comforting too - needing to lose 2 stone seems more do-able than needing to lose 30 pounds.

Vetch
It says I am overweight too. There HAS to be something wrong with the calculator.

It must be a sign of our modern way of life - notice the many degrees of obesity there are? I even left a few out. (I think there’s a super obese category among others).

And to recycle an old joke I was thinking of having a category:
BMI > 50 Would one of you please get off the scale?
But that would be a bit too cruel.