Oh....the BMI. Sigh.
Touted as THE measurement of body fat, it is based on a calculation of our weight and height. If you've been living under a rock these past twenty years, do a little Google search and calculate your own BMI. Where do you fall on the curve?
How do I hate the BMI? Let me count the ways:
1) It lumps individuals into categories - uber-skinny, thin, "normal" (whatever that means), overweight and obese
2) It is reductive
3) It shows nothing about a person's overall health
4) It is pervasive - used in every part of our health care system as a measuring stick for "good" and "bad" (i.e. skinny and fat)
In prenatal care, women with high BMIs are immediately slated for special (i.e. high-risk) treatment. If you didn't already know you had to lose a few pounds, watch out, because you'll certainly know now! You may be lucky and score a decent doctor, who is respectful, kind and willing to treat you as a person. But you may be unlucky to get stuck with a doctor who sees you only as BMI 32 (or wherever you land on that retched curve).
I can't understand how a medical community that is so research-focused and relies only on evidence-based information could miss the boat on this one. The BMI is only useful in context; in relation to a woman's overall health. I know plenty of women that fall over the "overweight" or "obese" line, and who are clearly neither. And yet because they walk around with that number tatooed on their face, their prenatal care can be significantly compromised.
There are plenty of studies out there showing that BMI is not successful in determining an individual's overall health. I won't begin referencing them here, but a quick Wikipedia search will put you in the right direction.
Instead, I have come up with several different meanings for the acronym BMI, just for fun. Play along and send me some more!
Bogus Measuring Instrument
Belittling Methodological Idea
Bitchy Medical Interns
Brainwashing Method (made by) Idiots
BITE ME INDEX