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Calculating BMI...

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I'm the web developer for these blogs. I'll talk about technical issues with the blogs and forums, and point out whatever other cool things on the web I run across regarding diabetes.

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Season's Greetings - Dec 23
Dear Diabetes1 Community, We wish you happy holidays and a happy new year! "We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be ...
Calculating BMI... - Aug 04
Slate.com recently published an article discussing the outdated use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) test as a measure for obesity.  The inexpensive and ease with which the BMI ...
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Posted: Aug 4, 2009 15:48
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  • Calculating BMI...

    Slate.com recently published an article discussing the outdated use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) test as a measure for obesity.  The inexpensive and ease with which the BMI can be calculated has contributed to the growth and popularity of this measure amongst researchers and doctors.  Unfortunately, though it has become common knowledge that the BMI test as a measure of body fat percentage over-simplifies how and what it means to be healthy, few doctors are willing to give it up.  Calculated by taking a person’s weight (measured in kilograms) and dividing it by the squared value of your height (measured in meters), the BMI test makes assumptions about your health based purely on your height and weight.  Though it is important to calculate and be aware of your body fat percentage, the current equation used to calculate BMI is too simple.  It provides a rather inaccurate representation of a person’s health.  More than height and weight, there is a plethora of other characteristics (such as gender, race, distribution of body fat, etc.) which contribute to your health.

    Instead, the article calls for the use of alternative and more accurate ways of calculating body fat percentage, suggesting the incorporation of waist circumference measurements as a “supplement to, or replacement for, the body mass index”.  This is where our Advanced BMI Calculator comes into play.  Unlike the traditional BMI test, our Advanced BMI Calculator tool (which can be found in our Care Tools section) provides you with two important numbers when reflecting upon your weight; your BMI and Waist-Hip Ratio (WHP).  The two numbers calculated reflect the estimated impact of a person’s present weight and the shape of their overall health. 

     How does this BMI calculator differ from others?

    Simply put, it takes gender and body fat distribution into consideration when calculating how your weight affects your health, rather than just your height.  This provides a more comprehensive overview of your weight and health. 

     What is the significance of the WHP?

    WHP indicates weight distribution, commonly referred to as body shape, which plays a role in a person’s health. 


    If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected]

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  • By: spark: Aug, 04, 2009 16:04 PM

    After having read the article, I find it rather unfortunate that so-called 'scientists' (doctors and researchers) would continue to rely on such an outdated and inaccurate tool to measure something as personal and important as health.   What boggles my mind is that there has been extensive research done to basically prove that the BMI is inaccurate.  And yet, doctors and researchers are sacrificing accuracy for the ease and simplicity with which the BMI can be calculated? Doesn't that kind of go against logic?

    One of my favorite lines from the article: "The waist measurements require slightly more time and training than it takes to record a BMI reading, and they don't come with any official cutoffs that can be used to make easy assessments.  The sensitivity of doctors to these slight inconveniences signals just how difficult it will be to unseat Quetelet's equation".  All I have to say is this.  Aren't you required to do basic anatomy before you become a doctor? is it really that difficult to measure one's hips???

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