B(ullshit)MI is useless as a marker of health

MN writes:
I am “normal” weight, but if appropriate wanted to share this experience of the uselessness of BMI. I understand if you feel it is inappropriate for this forum.

In college, I went to the doctor to get certain shots before traveling abroad. On the first visit, they marked me as 5’4”, 155 lb – which just put me over the line to “overweight” (BMI 25). Doctor warned me that it is important to maintain a healthy weight and to watch what I eat and exercise.

Some of shots required a second appointment. A few weeks later, I return to the same doc for follow up. This time, the nurse lists my height/weight as 5’5”, 155 lb – I am now “normal” weight (BMI 24). This amazing height gain of one inch resulted in the same doc telling me I seemed of healthy weight and probably didn’t have anything to worry about in that area!

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  1. Amazing, isn’t it? My BMI got “better” after a breast reduction allowed me to stand an actual inch taller. My husband’s got “worse” with a height loss due to ruptured discs in his back. It really is all bs.

  2. The funny thing is that it’s actually generally healthier to be in the “overweight” range. (In fact that’s the healthiest range – normal is worse and underweight is worse again. Which just means that our view of “normal” is slanted too low. Shock!)


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