WashPo: BMI Is The Product Of A Racist Era Of 'Nationalism, Racism and Eugenics'

Chris Menahan
May. 06, 2021

The body mass index is a product of white supremacy, so says the Washington Post.

From Washington Post, "Why BMI is a flawed health standard, especially for people of color":
Many experts debate its effectiveness for people of all races and ethnicities — and criticize how it has become overinterpreted as a catchall proxy for body fat, nutritional status and health risk. Some say that assumptions, practices and policies based on BMI adversely affect Americans of color by shaping the diagnoses they receive, treatment they access and stigma they may face. And, they say, the measure’s very origin is racially problematic.

BMI was invented about 200 years ago in an era that saw the creation of pseudoscientific theories such as social Darwinism that were used to justify nationalism, racism and eugenics. The index was established by Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, who sought to measure the height and weight of the "average" man based on a sample of White, European men. He saw this average as an ideal.

[...] Today, some experts argue, this measure is no longer relevant to the country’s population. America's demographic fabric has dramatically shifted over the past century. People of color make up 40 percent of the U.S. population, and research has shown that Black and White people tend to have different body compositions. While the WHO released adjusted cut points for people of Asian descent, who have a higher risk of certain metabolic diseases at lower BMI, leading institutions have not adopted metrics specific to Latino and Black people. So when BMI is applied to everyone in the country, "we presume that how we were in the 1940s really reflects how we are in 2021 -- and you can see how that might be problematic," said Stanford.
Wait, I thought race didn't exist?

Now you're telling me it's real and we should be basing public policy off it???

HT: Steve Sailer

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