BMI? More Like BM-WHYYY?!

Any study that uses BMI alone doesn’t prove anything.

Using BMI as a barometer of health is like using Ted Cruz to learn about climate change. It gives such a small slice of the picture, as to be vastly inaccurate and effectively useless.

Using weight and height to extrapolate scientific findings or risk for chronic disease? Come on, bro. Seriously?

david tennant

Let me backtrack a bit.

One study alone never “proves” anything in any case, regardless of how well the study was conducted. And I’m sure there are contexts in the scientific process where big studies using solely BMI are important. I would guess that these studies are predominantly conducted to raise more questions about a topic for further studies.

This is different than providing answers.

I know people who are solid muscle with little body fat, yet would be categorized as obese based on BMI. It’s simply a dumb measurement when not used in conjunction with other measurements.

This info is important for more than ripping through sensationalistic “science” articles on Buzzfeed. Some doctors use BMI (Note: I’m not saying I believe in alternative medicine or any bullshit like that). Also, can I just point out how unhelpful it is to tell someone who already knows (or doesn’t) they’re overweight, and is unhappy about it, that they need to lose weight?

The relationship between body weight, body composition, and health is highly contextual. Genetics, bone structure, diet, body fat percentage, level of activity, stress levels, and a bajillion other factors play a role in this. We’ve all heard stories about people whose “secret” to living to 105 is lots of whiskey and cigarettes. I would guess this person’s long life is in spite of the alcohol, not because of it.

I guess my point is, we ought to have a broader, more nuanced perspectives on these things.

The leanest I’ve ever been was after spending two weeks in the hospital for a near fatal case of pneumonia. I was still in the “healthy” BMI range.

This is really just a rant. I don’t really have much else to say.

I just thought the title was funny and wanted to do something with it.


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