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BMI: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  •  Posted 09/25/2015

by David Edelson, MD

It was not long ago that the abbreviation for body mass index, BMI, was a virtual mystery to most folks. Well, times have changed. Now, most of us know what BMI actually stands for. In fact, now it is required information on many healthcare forms, from high school and college physicals to pre-operative medical clearances. Many folks can spout their own BMI readings much as they used to recall their last blood pressure or cholesterol results. And in many ways, that is a really good thing.

But there is a darker side to the BMI story. Sometimes it can create confusion and distortion. I have seen even seasoned medical professionals blindly follow BMI down a road leading their patients toward unrealistic goals and worsening healthcare. So let’s take some time to dissect out the good, the bad and the really ugly aspects of BMI
What do you think?

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About the Author:
David Edelson, MD, is a graduate of Northwestern University’s six-year honor’s program in medical education and is board certified in both internal medicine and bariatric medicine. A two-time winner of the Faculty Teaching Award, Dr. Edelson is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2000, he founded HealthBridge, an integrated healthcare facility specializing in obesity medicine.