BMI is a dangerously inaccurate hoax

Hey “journalists”, please, for all our sakes, stop using BMI in your poorly researched stories. It is so freakishly inaccurate that it could actually kill someone. For instance:

I’m a 6 foot tall man. According to a BMI chart, I would be at a “normal” weight at 140 pounds. I am “overweight” at 184, “obese” at 221 and “extremely obese” at 294. Now, I’ve met Arnold Schwarzenegger, shaken the man’s hand, and he’s shorter than I am. I know his official peak measurements put him at 6’2″, but that means he’d have to have shrunk about 4 inches before I met him. I seriously doubt that.

So lets assume he was about my height. At his peak, he was 235 pounds. That puts him, according to BMI, in the “obese” category. The scale does not take into account muscle mass, bone density or any of a dozen other factors. Mr. Schwarzenegger was not obese, far from it. Even if he was 6’2″ the chart still puts him in the “obese” category. Absolutely ridiculous.

Now let’s flip it around. I would be “healthy” at 140 pounds. A few years back I got into a health kick and got my flabby self down to 180. Then got walking pneumonia and dropped to 170. I was not healthy. I didn’t look healthy, I didn’t feel healthy, and my doctor told me I needed to gain some weight. According to BMI, I had 30 pounds to lose and still be healthy. That would, literally, have killed me.

Stop using BMI. Yes, I know its easy. I know the charts are very quick to read and you have to do zero research, but you are amplifying the problem. People trust you. They listen to you or read your stories. If you keep using BMI, they’ll keep believing its a good measurement, and its not. Not even close.

So take some damn responsibility and do your homework.

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