How We Over Rely on BMI

Patients who are fat or perceived as fat are commonly characterized by some clinicians as unreliable narrators of their own health histories. Negative bias can undermine diagnoses, intervention decisions, and even what some clinicians think fat patients deserve. Fat is widely considered a clinical threat, and obesity is a descriptor applied to patients with BMIs at or over 30. While weight and BMI can be helpful clinical indicators, many of its applications are overvalued, imprecise, contested, and can incur substantial iatrogenic harm. This theme issue examines clinical and ethical shortcomings of medicine’s current approaches to fat. 

Volume 25, Number 7: E467-572 Full Issue PDF