TIL That the body mass index was invented in 1830 and 1850 by a Belgian mathematician, astronomer and statistician and not a physician.

Read more: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17890752/

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  1. That’s because it’s a statistical analysis. All he did was correlate body fat to height/weight ratio at a population level. It was never meant to be used on an individual level.

  2. Yes, it’s a mathematical model to assist in characterising medical study results. So it was developed by experts in data analysis not physiology.

    It wasn’t perfect and is still being refined to better relate to the complex reality of medicine e.g. the healthy range for the elderly was increased after studies indicated extra weight is protective to a point in that group.

    It’s still a reasonably valid model for describing health in relation to weight. If you are an anomaly like a body builder that’s where your doctor steps in to apply best evidence based practice to you. That’s why computers can’t currently do the job.

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