by Mila McManus, MD
Over the last two decades of my practice, it has been clearly proven to me that the Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an inadequate way to define all people as underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. This has been the American Medical Association’s standard gauge for healthy weight, until now.
Thankfully, in recent weeks, the American Medical Association has agreed to advise doctors to pay less attention to BMI as the only standard. Body composition, belly fat, waist circumference, and genetic factors will also now be taken into account. The action came as a result of mounting evidence that it is an inaccurate predictor of individual health risk. The BMI scale is based primarily on data from white people, so the issue here is that body shape and composition vary among racial and ethnic groups, genders, and age groups.
The AMA’s statement further added that “overemphasis of bodily thinness is as deleterious to one’s physical and mental health as obesity.” The organization asks doctors to help patients “avoid obsessions with diet and to develop balanced, individualized approaches to finding the body weight that is best for each of them.”
At last! Promotion of the idea of individualized medicine!
Be you. Be well. Be here at TWIHW where personalized medicine is the standard.