This subject came to me recently as I got an email from school (my kids are 5 & 8) saying that due to the health concerns for some students, the school will measure the BMI of pupils to make parents aware of those kids at risk of obesity. I decided this would be good subject to write about, as I believe GP doctors still use these measurements to determine one’s health.
But is it reliable? Is it necessary?
Considering the relative oddness of what BMI measures are (weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters), I wonder how this managed to become such an important indicator of good health. It is a basic calculation to determine if you’re at the right weight for your height. It’s generally a dependable measure of your risk of developing chronic diseases related to obesity. Even though BMI may be useful for helping to identify long-term trends for the average person, it is quite a poor metric for assessing the health of individuals. Norms don’t apply to everyone, and some may fall well outside the standard deviation.