Doctors Now Think This Medical Term Is “Racist”

Body-positive individuals are celebrating as the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends abandoning the (BMI) or Body Mass Index scale, citing its complicated and racially biased history. 

The AMA acknowledges that the BMI has caused significant harm throughout history, being exploited for exclusionary and racist purposes, including by eugenicists.

Furthermore, the AMA asserts that body shape should be reassessed considering various factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sex. 

They emphasize that medical professionals should not rely solely on BMI to measure healthy weight.

The AMA now states on its website that the BMI fails to adequately represent racial and ethnic minorities, reflecting a shift in its stance.

The Body Mass Index (BMI), initially developed by a Caucasian researcher focusing on individuals of similar Caucasian makeup, calculates a person’s weight divided by squaring the person’s height in inches. 

Over time, it has become extensively integrated into the medical system to assess overall population health.

Medical doctors have observed that white women store fat around the midriff, posing more significant health risks., while black women often accumulate fat in the hip and leg area, 

Surprisingly, both groups may exhibit similar BMI values.

Recently, the medical community made a significant decision by recommending that healthcare providers consider various factors beyond the height-to-weight ratio. 

Instead, they suggest measuring a person’s visceral fat (considered the most hazardous type surrounding the organs), assessing the percentage of fat, bone, and muscle in the body, and evaluating genetic and metabolic elements like abnormal blood sugar levels.

Science and Public Health of the AMA Council addressed the limitations of using body mass index (BMI) as a sole measurement, acknowledging concerns regarding its historical association with eugenics, its utilization in perpetuating racist exclusion, and the fact that BMI cutoffs are based on an idealized Caucasian perspective, disregarding gender, and ethnicity considerations.

BMI was not developed by a medical professional but by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician. 

He aimed to determine European men’s average height and weight, reflecting a biased sample that excludes diverse populations.