I know for sure that BMI(Body Mass Index) is a quantitative variable as it is a continuous variable. But is that BMI Category derived from the BMI a qualitative variable or a quantitative variable? (Underweight, Normal Weight, Overweight. Thanks

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    $\begingroup$ It is considered to be in this hybrid category called ordinal. Depending on what you’re doing, binning into these categories may discard useful information. What are you trying to do with BMI? $\endgroup$ – Dave Nov 10 '20 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ I am trying to make a contingency table with other categories, but I need to make sure that BMI Category is a quantitative variable. $\endgroup$ – Steven Steven Nov 10 '20 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want to make such a contingency table ? What is your research question ? $\endgroup$ – Robert Long Nov 10 '20 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ I want to make a two-way contingency table with BMI Category and Favorite Ice Cream flavor to know if that a certain ice cream flavor can cause overweight. $\endgroup$ – Steven Steven Nov 10 '20 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ First, you can't establish causation with any kind of observational study. Second, why don't you use a regression model, with BMI as the outcome and ice cream flavour as the independent variable ? Categorising your data will lead to massive data loss. $\endgroup$ – Robert Long Nov 10 '20 at 15:52

Usually we think of this type of data as a special form of categorical data called "ordinal", that is, ordered-categorical. This is because there is a natural ordering in the data: Underweight < Normal < Overweight.

While it is sometimes useful to create categories such as these, there is a great loss of information by doing so.

Edit: Based on comments in the question, it would be a good idea to consider a regression based model, where you do not categorise BMI but rather use it as the outcome/response. Since you seem to have a just one independent variable, which is categorical, this would be a one-way ANOVA.

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    $\begingroup$ This ANOVA ends up being just a vanilla t-test! $\endgroup$ – Dave Nov 10 '20 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Dave but we don't know how many categories the IV has. Either way, it's better than categorizing the DV imho $\endgroup$ – Robert Long Nov 10 '20 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ I read the comment as being between two ice cream flavors. Looking at it again, I am not sure how. Yes, if there are 3+ flavors, then it isn't a t-test. $\endgroup$ – Dave Nov 10 '20 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Dave I agree it's a bit unclear but I think it's good as pedagogical device to think about regression. $\endgroup$ – Robert Long Nov 10 '20 at 21:18

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