September 4, 2012

BMI can be deceiving

Many of us in the ED world have an allergy to the term BMI, and especially to the wildly artificial and judgmental categories for BMI: underweight, healthy, overweight, obese, and morbidly obese. Although weight and BMI have a small bit of utility in screenings and evaluations they are largely bogus. Never meant to be used the way they are and horribly misunderstood. The correlation between BMI and health is SO flawed as a concept and nearly without meaning for individuals (who should only be compared with themselves).

One fun activity, if you haven't done so yet, is to cruise through the BMI Project initiated by Shapely Prose. After a while you stop seeing a body and judging it, you stop having automatic thoughts based on size, and you get to just enjoy humanity. With practice, you can go out into the street and extend that lack of judgement to the humans you encounter. You don't know squat about a person by evaluating their appearance, not even their BMI. You don't know their health or their eating habits or their morality - and you certainly don't know their mental health.


  1. but it is the only number that the gouver-ment can get there hands on through drivers licence data...height, weigth... They take the information they can get...

  2. What an extraordinary exercise - and one that only reinforces my campaign against BMI as a measure of health...Thank you. xx