This post really needs no words. Still, we can’t help ourselves. After you enjoy the image, read why the Body Mass Index (BMI) is really not something you need to think twice about.
If there’s one thing many weight management experts agree on, it’s that judging a person’s health on the basis of the BMI is highly flawed.
- A review of 97 studies that looked at a combined sample of 2.88 million people showed that those who fall into the “overweight” category of the BMI are actually the longest-lived.
- Weights that fall into the “obese” range of 30 to 34.9 are not associated with any greater risk for disease than lower body weights.
- The BMI also fails to consider how much muscle a person has on their body, as compared to the amount of fat. According to the BMI, buff celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are too heavy.
So what’s a person to do when a doctor or other health care professional tells them they need to lose weight to protect their health?
No, we don’t recommend yelling. But we do suggest educating. Show them this blog post.
Healthy Weight Isn’t About A Number
For more reading about weight stigma, which is what the BMI is often about, check out these toolkits from the Binge Eating Disorder Association. They can help you understand how to advocate for yourself and help your healthcare providers better understand the issues surrounding weight stigma.
Also check out our FitBriefing that explains why worrying about your weight only makes things worse. And changes you can work towards that can help you be healthy. Sneak preview: They’re enjoyable changes.
Finally, check out our infographic “Why the Scale Can Do More Harm Than Good” on our Healthy Weight Week page today. And if you’re looking for other ways to measure success, check out this article looking at health benefits that go beyond weight.
Thanks to June Lupiani, RD, Nutrition Leader at Green Mountain for the idea and photos for this graphic.
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