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Thursday 31 May 2012
Discrimination, tall people and BMI
Not that I am obsessed with BMI or anything. I was delighted to read in the Reflections on Body Image report out yesterday, that BMI is under review by the Department of Health as an "indicator of health". It is not and never was and shall never be a measure of physical or mental health and should never be used as a diagnostic tool on its own.
It was a tool refined by Louis I Dublin as a measure of mortality rate statistics for use by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to calculate rates for life insurance. It is presently used by insurance companies worldwide as an exclusion criteria for many health conditions and, in some cases, exclusion from any medical coverage at all. This means that Soane Tonga'uiha, the loose-head prop for the Northampton Saints, would be unable to get coverage in the USA, as his BMI is 34.7
Not that I am going to tell him..............
Imagine my delight when Extralongtail told me today that as BMI is an areal rather than volumetric measure, it discriminates against tall people. I did ask her to explain further but she informs me that she needs to go out for a sustaining lunch before attempting to explain this: