Argh. BMI as the Holy Grail for a Healthy Eating/Active Lifestyles Campaign.
In Colorado, non-profit organization LiveWell Colorado is launching a campaign to increase ”healthy eating & active lifestyle” decisions with a goal toward increasing Coloradans’ overall health and wellbeing. The measure? Body mass index scores. Denver’s major daily summarizes the campaign here. Not surprisingly, the reporter fails to question whether BMI is a universally accepted indicator of health. Perhaps more upsetting, though, is LiveWell Colorado’s utter failure to recognize BMI as an imperfect indicator for health. Search ”body image,” ”eating disorder,” ”dysmorphic,” or other related terms on LiveWell’s site and… nothing. How can an organization that’s purporting to enter into public dialogue about decisions and behaviors to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles in good conscience launch a public-awareness campaign that ties images of body types to BMI scores without any sort of conversation or resources about body image? Thanks, LiveWell Colorado, for perpetuating fucked-up numbers linking height-weight ratios to a person’s overall health.