The Body Mass Index

08.03.2021 - By Maintenance Phase

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The BMI is EVERYWHERE. But is it scientific or scientif-ish? While many Americans think of the body mass index as an objective measure of health, its history reveals a more complicated story. This week, Mike and Aubrey tackle the first in a two-part series about the BMI and the “Obesity Epidemic.” Along the way they visit 18th century Belgium, learn a gross new acronym and dissect Dracula's facial features.

LINKS!:The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI (Elemental) Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics, and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874 (University of Pittsburgh Press)Mindful of eugenics’ dark history, researchers are reexamining the genetics of social mobility (Quartz) Adolphe Quetelet (1796–1874)—the average man and indices of obesity (Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation)For Researchers on Obesity: Historical Review of Extra Body Weight Definitions (Obesity)Quetelet, Adolphe (Canada’s Eugenics Archives)Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus (NPR)The False Science Linking Body Shape to Personality (The Atlantic)Obesity task force linked to WHO takes “millions” from drug firms (The BMJ)Impact of weight bias and stigma on quality of care and outcomes for patients with obesity (Obesity Reviews) 

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