AMA admits Body Mass Index (BMI) is racist

The index was developed off a database of European white men and is not valid for other races or ethnicity.



It sounds like it isn’t just race biased. Like a lot of medical studies women seem to have been left out.


Thing is…across large numbers of the population in general, it holds fairly well as a reference for excess fatness. That’s really what the figure is intended for. Once you start narrowing it down to, say age, gender, racial groups the number gets a bit fuzzier. Start to define races more specifically with a view to population genetics and body types then you’re looking at a whole area of nuance.

As a figure, this has been blathered about for ages…especially in the fat-positivity, HAES (Heath At Every Size) movement…and especially with regard to the cut of points. BMI of 25 is “healthy” but 26 is “overweight” (as if many folk have to be concerned at this level these days). Obviously that’s something that can be argued about to no end but, as usual, “caution is advised” when trying to dismiss BMI altogether as much as trying load the figure with a faulty pathological meaning.

Good attention grabbing and misleading headline though…an admission of racism, no less! :smile:

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And hasn’t that been a long-standing problem?


It’s a poor question…truncating my actual statement and excluding context as you have. I can only answer with a yes, no, maybe.