Reader Samantha dropped me an e-mail asking about my opinions of BMI. She is the 35-year-old mother of a 5-month-old infant, recently went in for a check-up, and was told that she was overweight based on the current BMI scale. Her own feelings about what constituted a healthy weight for her body were shattered when she was informed that she needed to be 20 pounds lighter than her own typical weight in order to fall within the “normal” range. And she was frustrated.
I can completely relate to her frustration. Over the past few years, I’ve been having all sorts of digestive and reproductive health problems. None of the docs have had any idea what was up, despite round after round of tests. At some point in there, a blood test came back that had me right on the border of being pre-diabetic. Still nowhere close to being actually diabetic, and that test turned out to be an anomaly. Yet I was told that I should probably lose five pounds to kick me back into the “normal” BMI range. And told this with zero inquiry into my eating or exercise habits. It was all I could do not to laugh in the doc’s face. Really? REALLY? I’m not diabetic, there’s no discernible link between my health problems and my weight, I’m five pounds over “normal,” and you’re still gonna harp on BMI right now?