BMI as a Broadly Used, Misapplied, and Insufficient Measure: A Narrative Review
Keywords:BMI, Obesity, Measurement
There may not be a more widely known tool than the Body Mass Index (BMI). Its widespread acceptance, however, comes in spite of much evidence and history that suggests such should not be the case. The purpose of this narrative review was to examine the history, applications, and effectiveness of the BMI as an anthropometric tool. Relevant studies on the BMI’s origins, applications, and usefulness compared to other anthropometric measures were extracted from PubMed and Google Scholar and examined. The evidence posits that the BMI was not created for its present-day utility and is thus heavily misapplied. The literature also suggests that other anthropometric measures may be more effective at the assessments to which the BMI is popularly called upon. This narrative review concludes with a call for future research in developing a superior alternative to the BMI for assessing body composition in a similarly widespread fashion.
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