Sunday, February 20, 2005

Body Mass Index Hysteria

BrooklynDodger was about to post some extracts on obsesity and health. CDC says that 64% of Americans are overweight or obese, with 30% obsese, so it's now a pretty normal condition. CDC recently retracted an overestimate of the costs of obsesity. A group observed that under this definition, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and President Bush are all overweight.

Then the Dodger got sidetracked into wondering who first defined BMI and what it translates into when put in terms of feet and inches. So far, the Dodger has been defeated in attempts to discover the first publication of this index. There are many BMI calculators and tables on the internet, but the Dodger felt that one height and set of weights would illustrate this better.

[The Dodger urges readers not to place any personal significance on the choice of a 6 foot tall person as an example.]

Scientific literature indicates that underweight is associated with poor health outcomes. Too little of anything appears to be bad for you, just like too much. The Dodger would concur that there's something peculiar about a 6 foot tall person weighing less than 136 pounds, although studies indicate that this degree of calorie restriction in laboratory animals prolongs life and reduces cancer. Certainly this weight stratum would be expected to be richer in smokers and poorer in drinkers than higher strata.


6’ tall

BMI = <18.5>Normal weight
BMI = 18.5-24.9

137 – 184 lbs

BMI = 25-29.9

184-221 lbs

BMI = 30 - 35

221 - 258

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