BMI – The New Atkins Diet

June 30, 2009


I’m going to try to watch the ranting on this one, but I have no shortage of vitriol for the now-ubiquitous measurement of health according to BMI. In case you haven’t heard of it (that might be a good thing), BMI stands for Body Mass Index. And there are exactly two components that affect your Body Mass Index score: Height and Weight.

Let me give you a second to think about whether Height and Weight alone can adequately measure your level of health or fitness.

I hope you see where I’m going with this. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s BMI calculations Lebron James, freakish athlete and man-child that he is, is overweight. Using the height and weight listed for him on Lebron is in fact half way to being obese: 27.5, what a lardo! Ahem, clearly that is ridiculous. The new poster child for the NBA is anything but overweight or out of shape. This is why you can’t categorize anyone according to BMI, its numbers mean nothing definitive.

So next time you hear of some study of how healthy or unhealthy people are, or that being a little overweight can help you live longer, remember to check for whether that study used BMI as its judge for determining who is underweight/overweight. And if you’re like me, then you’ll promptly ignore it.

*Note: The reference to the Atkins Diet in the title is because I consider BMI to be equally useless and potentially damaging while its purveyors make bank off of people’s insecurities. Also, I hope it’s a fad like said diet.