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The BMI Project

November 12, 2009

BMI stands for “Body Mass Index” and it was originally created by researchers to study the effect of weight on health.  BMI adjusts weight for height.

BMI = weight (kg)   / height² (m²)

Researchers also supplied handy dandy categories and definitions:

underweight   < 18.5

normal    18.5 to 25

overweight  25 to 30

obese   > 30

These were intended for research use but they’ve been adopted for use by physicians and the diet industry to provide yet another goal for fat people to strive for … a “normal” BMI.

At the Shapely Prose site, Kate Harding has a fantastic slide show called ” The BMI Project“.  It’s a series of photos of real women with their BMI assigned designation.  This beautifully illustrates just how ridiculous those categories are.  Check it out.



One Comment leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 9:44 am

    Thanks for the link to Shapely Prose – hadn’t seen that slide show before, but just blogged this morning about my suspicion that the BMI was not really a helpful tool.

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