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September 11, 2007

Comments

Michael Moore

I agree with your supposition that BMI will be a hot button for some time. However, this short form assessment of health may be getting too much credibility, too quickly. It has a lot of appeal because it's easy and inexpensive to calculate, is based on seemingly innocuous information (height to weight), and has bright line categories. There is also initiative appeal to the correlation between obesity and poor health, but my jury is still out on whether BMI will survive as a standard for health assessment. It will face legal challenges as a predictive measure, especially, if it becomes more prominent as a health care measure. For example, in the UK, BMI has been used to ration medical procedures like hip and knee replacements.

P.S. who gave you my high school football photo to use with this post?

Wally Bock

I agree, Kris, the move to use the BMI for all kinds of screening scares me because it essentially updates the old height/weight charts and turns the combination into a single number. It doesn't measure fitness in any way and it doesn't account for differences in body type. To add on to what Michael has already posted, I note that under BMI, the Governor of California is obese.

SW2

A higher than "normal" BMI keeps me from qualifying for medical insurance. I was forced to leave my job due to family issues and a handicapped daugter's needs and stress related depression. The depression is gone now that I am not spread so thin. I am on COBRA insurance through my former employeer and I have not found an insurance who will accept me when my COBRA runs out due to having a BMI that is "too high". I have lost a few pounds but not good enough...it doesn't matter that I am healthy and fit.

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