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To BMI Or Not To Bmi: Why That Should Not Really Be The Question
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To BMI Or Not to Bmi: Why That Should Not Really Be the Question

The latest numbers on obesity are grim, but not surprising to anyone. It would take denial of epic proportions to not see the looming health crisis that faces the nation if something doesn't happen and happen quickly. But, too many people are too quick to denounce any plan that attempts to address the issue, resorting to politicizing the issue and worrying about personal freedoms. Others worry that the use of the body mass index, or BMI is causing artificial obesity numbers because of the flaws in that measurement. But, it doesn't take the numbers on scale, measuring tape or anything else to understand that there is a serious problem, one that is going to require fairly drastic measures to address before it is too late.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's latest numbers, there are nearly forty states with an obesity rating at twenty five percent or higher and a dozen of those states are now over thirty percent. Colorado, long the state with the lowest obesity numbers has reached a sad milestone by breaching the twenty percent mark. Collectively, the South and the Midwest are the two areas with the highest average obesity numbers and the West barely earns the right to be called the lowest. But, critics are quick to point out that BMI numbers are flawed and were never meant to be used for long term weight measuring standards in the care of the average patient.

The BMI can be used for statistical purposes for a general overview but what about when it is an individual person in the doctor's office being diagnosed as overweight or obese when they are obviously not? The insurance companies like the concept of the BMI because it is quick and easy and fits their standards well. Most doctors either hate them to the point of not using the chart at all or will use them to satisfy the insurance company only. A good doctor will look at other measures to help determine not only the health risks and factors of each patient but also their current health status based on more than just their weight.

BMI numbers can be misleading and disheartening because the chart uses two numbers alone: the height and the weight. There is no way of telling whether the person is a highly muscled person or just a towering glob of goo who never waddles off the couch at all. And that is one of the major reasons that the BMI is so bad for so many reasons.


Street Talk

Zee Moloi  

Surely if you are not a body builder and your BMI reads 35 something is definitely wrong. For personal use, I'm not sure why one cannot use BMI as a starting point. Insurance companies should worry themselves about more important health indicators like body fat in order to determine your rik profile.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I would think one should use these numbers as only a small part of determining weather they are overweight or not. Good info Amie!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Interesting you don't hear a lot about BMI but as you point out the insurance industry does rely on it heavily and I was in the industry for a little while. I think to problem of obesity is the major issue which needs our immediate attention or in the end we will all foot the bill from an insurance viewpoint

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Interesting you don't hear a lot about BMI but as you point out the insurance industry does rely on it heavily and I was in the industry for a little while. I think to problem of obesity is the major issue which needs our immediate attention or in the end we will all foot the bill from an insurance viewpoint

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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