What are the upper limits of being 'big boned'?

Is there a point when you can no longer be considered ‘big boned’ and are simply obese or ‘fat’?

Does being ‘big boned’ even exist in the medical world or is it just an excuse?

I’d ask Denis Leary.

I am not a doctor so I am not qualified to say whether or not it is a medical term, but I would doubt it.
Yes, some people have a larger skeleton than others.
Look at Courtenay Cox and look at Venus William. I think we can safely say that Venus Williams has bigger bones than Courtenay Cox.

Are either of them anything remotely like fat? Err, no, not even the woman with the bigger bones.

I reckon it doesn’t matter how big your bones are, it’s how well covered they are with tissue *which isn’t * muscle which makes you fat.
So a titchy tiny woman with size 3 feet can be fat, and her bones must be small And a 6 foot woman with size eleven feet can be as thin as a lat, despite having bigger bones.

I saw an immense woman get on the subway the other day. From the angles of her legs when she walked, it looks like there’s no way the ball-and-socket joints at the top of her femurs were 16 or 18 inches apart and that a few hundred pounds of excess fat hanging on her frame was responsible for her butt being three feet wide. I mean, she would have been a widebodied woman even if you’d taken away everything but the skeleton, unless it’s a compelling optical illusion.

Do people’s skeletons widen in response to them carrying excess weight, or are they just born with the genes to have big wide frames? I don’t know. Been wondering that myself.

Not a doctor,but every test I’ve ever known to determine “big boned”,ie,the width of your bones,is the wrist measurement.7 1/4" to 7 1/2" is average.According to one site 8" is xlarge.

One problem with this is an obese person may be carrying enough fat in their wrist to claim “bigboned”
(The wrist is basically all bone)

Some confusion in the Venus comparison is ** frame size **.It’s possible to have a normal,or smaller wrist measurement and still have a bigger frame.

Depends how you fill that frame out if you’re fat or lean.Check shoulder width for frame size.(socket to socket across the collarbone.)

That’s interesting, never heard of that before, but as you say, the wrist is pretty much all bone. Mine is very bony and has hollows all over the place and a big old bone sticking up, on the at the wrist on the same side as my little finger.

Is that for the circumference of your wrist? In inches? Is it for a man or a woman?
Because if it is for the inch circumference and for a woman, then I am astounded.
I am less than 7 1/4 around the wrist yet I have bigger hands than many men I know who are the same height as me.

And I have terrible trouble finding a bracelet to fit.
Yet according to that definition, I’m small boned!!!

Titan’s got it. IANAMD, but it’s certainly true that large joints, wide shoulders, and large rib cage can contribute to a person appearing overall “big-boned”.

Honestly, though, whenever I’ve heard an overweight person refer to themselves as “big-boned”, it’s always been in jest.

Alterego, I think your permise is somewhat flawed. I don’t think that “big-boned” is on the continuum between “skinny” and “fat”. I think that skeletal structure has got it’s own continuum, and body-mass composition is on another.

Same here, curly girl. My wrists are 7 inches exactly and I have another 135 pounds to lose before I’m at goal. There is NO way I have a petite frame, not judging from my shoulders and hips! I’ll never be smaller than a size 12 or so.

7 inch wrist size appears to be a large frame for women: http://health.allrefer.com/pictures-images/calculating-body-frame-size.html Most women’s bracelet’s are 7", and designed to be worn losely. Heck, I can slip a 7" bracelet off my hand without unclasping it.

The answer to the first question in the OP is simple: Cartman.

I am big-boned. It has nothing to do with being fat or not. No matter what I weigh, I’ll always be big boned. Even at my thinnest, I wear a size 9 ring. (I don’t go in for rings much, just calls attention to my wide fingers.) I not only have large bones but dense bones-- last time I had a bone scan, my bone density was 130% of normal. Actually, if you put me next to a woman who was the same height and weight as me, but was small boned, I think I’d look healthier, since more of my weight would be in my bones and more of hers would be in other tissue. Big bones are definitely not the current standard of beauty, even if you aren’t heavy as well. However, there are advantages: I’ve only ever had one broken bone in my life. I fell down a flight of stairs and got a volar plate fracture in my right pinkie finger. It was so small my internist didn’t even see it on the X-ray-- it took a radiologist to see it. Didn’t even need a cast, just wore a splint.

I should have added my cites were for ** men ** Check out the tale of the tape for the next boxing match. An inch smaller seems reasonable for women.

And to the question of circumference.Yes,at the point you would wear a watch (directly in back of point of the radius/ulna?)

Here’s a rule-of-thumb to determine skeleton frame size:

Grab the boniest part of your wrist with your index finger and thumb. If those two fingers touch, you have an average frame. If they overlap, you have a small frame. If there is a noticiable gap, you are large framed. This works even for very tall, small-boned people and very short, big-boned people because really what you’re talking about here is proportion, not absolute bone size.

This will not, however, work for the obese.