Anyone who has ever attended any of my workshops or conference sessions on the topic of Eating Disorders will have heard me say that BMI (Body Mass Index) is not an ideal measurement of a person’s weight or health. This is a statement I have believed for years, and yet this measurement is used widely amongst medical professionals in the diagnosis of Eating Disorders, and in generally determining the health of individuals.
The University of California (finally!) did some research into the topic, specifically looking at how BMI correlates to actual health based on measurements such as blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol. The outcomes suggested that, based on those measurements, a almost half of people who might be considered ‘overweight’ are actually ‘healthy’, and equally a large proportion of people in the ‘healthy’ bracket turned out to have health issues, again based on those same measurements.
You can find more on the stats HERE if you are interested – but the general inference must be that BMI alone is not enough to determine overall wellbeing. This is something that I discuss with all clients with eating and weight related issues – placing emphasis on the importance of having regular health checks during their time in Counselling in order to determine how their body is coping/ You can’t tell by looking at someone if they are healthy or not!