BMI... One of the Biggest Problems in the Health and Fitness Industry

Let's be honest...

The Health and Wellness Industry has 99 problems, and BMI is the BIGGEST ONE!


Raise your hand if you've ever been victimized by BMI!


My guess is MANY hands are raised right now.


This has to be one of the most problematic diagnostic tools there is, but it's still widely used. Let's look at some details.


If you didn't already know this, BMI was created by a mathematician (not even a physician) in the 1800s. It was intended to measure the health and weights of a population, NOT an individual. And of course these measurements were based on white men only. And again, this was the 1800s and we are now in 2021. Great, what problems can possibly be caused by this outdated calculator.... *shaking my head*


I also personally love how even the CDC has a page on BMI, but has the following statement, "BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual." (guys, I literally copied and pasted it from their website) Okay, so we're sort of acknowledging that it can't assess the health of someone? But we're still using it today? Cool....


BMI was again created on white men (based on some other white man's ideals) so it disregards factors such as age, sex, race, bone density, and can't differentiate between muscle and fat or actual lifestyle factors!


BMI is used as an excuse to be discriminatory. Insurance companies can refuse coverage, health providers can refuse treatment, eating disorder centers can also require a certain BMI, and one of the latest stories I've heard of is people being refused adoptions.


It sounds radical, but there are many other ways to look at health without looking at weight and definitely not looking at BMI. Health looks different on everyone. Bodies come in all different sizes. And using an outdated formula as an excuse to discriminate against individuals is literally the opposite of helping.


My husband is an amateur bodybuilder, and I dabbled in the sport a bit myself. According to the BMI chart, he is considered morbidly obese. He exercises every day and has LARGE amounts of muscle mass. Muscle mass is obviously very heavy because it holds onto water and nutrients, unlike fat. My husband is an extremely healthy individual and this just goes to show how OFF BMI can be, especially if you're an individual who has large amounts of muscle mass.


So the next time you look at your BMI and may be displeased, remember this. Nobody cares what your BMI is or even the number on the scale. What matters more is how we feel about ourselves, what we're putting in our mouth, and making sure we move our bodies. BMI is just a joke.




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