Obama Girls from People Magazine

From the health at every size blog (HAES)

“There’s ample peer-reviewed evidence that eating and exercise have far more impact than weight on individuals’ health status. And that social injustice may trump them all as a health deterrent. Moreover, for all we know, fat may actually provide us with some protection: the Centers for Disease Control mortality analysis, consistent with the bulk of research on the topic, shows “overweight” people actually outlive those in the “normal” BMI range.

The White House recommendation of BMI as an exam-room benchmark would place doctors on the cutting edge of statistical medicine—circa 1850. That’s when a Belgian astronomer first conceived the height-weight ratio. BMI has its uses for aggregate population studies, but as an individual diagnostic tool, it boasts all the predictive utility of discredited standbys like cranial measurements and the Four Humours. Proving just how arbitrary BMI-based categories can be, the National Institutes of Health adjusted its “normal” range downward in 1998, causing about 35 million Americans to “become overweight” overnight. They set the cutoff for overweight at 25 and for obesity at 30, yet the only relevant peer-reviewed research they cited didn’t find a statistically significant relationship between BMI and mortality until BMIs in excess of 40. Raising the standards would have been a more astute application of the science.

The BMI back story is even more pathetic when applied to kids. Cutoff points for “overweight” and “obesity” were arbitrarily assigned based on comparison to what kids weighed a few decades back, without even the pretense of considering health data.”

Read the full article here: the HAES files: honey, I can’t shrink the kids – why the Obamas need a new doctor | healthateverysizeblog.


The HAES contributors here