Wednesday, July 22, 2009

10 reasons why BMI is bogus

I love, love, love this piece from NPR on the top 10 (suggesting there are more than 10) reasons why BMI is a bogus measurement. My favorite:

The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.

Go read the rest for yourself.


Travel for Agoraphobics said...

OMG! I had no idea.

Atchka! said...

But how else are we going to quantify the obesity epidemic? We need numbers! Random, unscientific, useless numbers!

Summer said...

This is off topic but I am mad at NPR at the moment. They just ran a show about calorie restriction making you live longer. Too bad I had just read Junkfood Science's expose on this topic. The mortality rates were not significantly different and the oldest monkey is from the non-starvation group. But that is not how NPR represented it. I think we should all be shocked that people are promoting starvation! Shame on NPR!

Bill Fabrey said...

I loved the piece too--it's always good to discredit the BMI concept.

However, the author made two errors:

In item (6), he stated that BMI is like a percentage, lying between 1 and 100. But actually, it is not. A BMI rarely gets that high, but can and does sometimes exceed 100. Anyone under 10 or 15 is probably dead.

In item (10), he states that obesity is " of the leading causes of poor health and premature death..." This is the popular view, but there is little or no scientific data to support this myth--that obesity is a cause of much of anything, except maybe sore knees in some people, and low self-esteem and a reluctance to visit doctors for health care until it becomes urgent and life-threatening, due to being stigmatized in our society.