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BMI (Body Mass Index): Junk Science

See also Screw Up Your Gut Biome with Artificial Sweeteners?

Beware “experts” (e.g., doctors) who are so smart they’ve never even considered a medical issue you might raise outside of a book—because they know less than they think they know, including the unsaid “you are igorant because you are not a doctor” atttitude. Or the inability to say “I don’t know”. Or the rigid thinking that comes with reading too many statistics and seeing only the forest, and never a tree (you, the patient).

A doctor with integrity unwilling to explore just says “dunno” (acceptable); a really good one probes and asks and then gives a considered answer (in my experience, this is rare).

It’s bad when statistics are confused with individuals, a fundamental error in cognition and judgment, most often seen in the malpractice of using the junk science of BMI (a statistical measure over a large population) to peg an individual. Yet that idiocy happens on most of my doctor visits: weight and height nonsense. How many millions of hours are wasted doing that, when a glance is more a accurate assessment?

BMI measure of body composition drives me crazy (BMI junk science). Evan at the 0th percentile for body fat (8% lean), I was/am classified by BMI as close to overweight, all the while being physically fit for my age to about 1 in 10,000 or better. That is the kind of “science” many doctors will actually defend, believe it or not.

This morning, I was weighed in at the doctor’s office at 188 pounds : with a bunch of heavy stuff in my pockets, fully clothed, shoes on, pockets full, etc—at least 10 pounds of stuff in total including 2 liters of fluid (4+ pounds) I had consumed not long before (I weigh myself on a medical grade scale every morning, 178.5 this morning). Idiots. Why do they bother with this charade? Better to ask the patient to undress and just look. I also carry my body fat as mainly “baby fat” (mostly subcutaneous under the skin, with less than 1 pound of visceral fat when I’m in race condition). Again, BMI is 100% blind to the type of fat (critical factor), as well as bone density, or even a woman with very long hair (which all adds in).

Example Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan for your author

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