Is the BMI Accurate? Experts Explain Why It's a Misleading Predictor of Health (Good Housekeeping)
Figuring out what your body mass index says about your health isn't as simple as it sounds.
“Overweight” is not a synonym for “unhealthy.” It’s all but impossible to see a doctor without hopping on the scale and being told your body mass index (BMI), a number calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The concept originated in the 1800s as a way to categorize the population by weight, says Amy Lee, M.D., an internal medicine physician and weight specialist in Southern California. People are “in a range of ‘underweight,’ ‘normal,’ ‘overweight’ or ‘obese,’ ” she says. As benign as that may sound, many experts are realizing that there are real problems with the measurement and that the way it is applied can do more harm than good. The issue is complex, but here are just a few reasons: (more at the link)