Where Did Body Mass Index Originate?

Science Vs


Today. We're looking at whether it really is that bad for your health to be fat and a quick note about our words in this episode. A lot of people don't like the words overweight or obese. Some people prefer the term fat as a neutral way to describe a person's body like tall but not everyone is comfortable with using fat this way and meanwhile overweight and obese have specific definitions medicine. So we're going to end up using all these terms but we'll try to be careful about when and why we use them okay so in order to talk about this at all we've got to with the bmi the body mass index every stat. You've never heard about how many americans are overweight comes from this measure. Hundreds of thousands of studies rely on it. It's a staple of modern medicine. So where on earth did it come from to find out. We're going to go back to the nineteen fifties do the university of minnesota's football stadium. The golden gophers are battling it out in the big ten conference. Our story starts down in the depths of the stadium entered through gate twenty seven. Just as if you had a ticket gate twenty so and then there's a maze of of hallways and offices along under the sloping of the The bleachers above this is henry blackburn. He's taking us to the lab where the bmi was born. He's a professor emeritus and minnesota so When when we worked there on a saturday could hear a distant rumble. When the minnesota eighteen got a touchdown run out and run up the causeway and see if we could see the extra point kick sometimes invaded by berman. Because of all those who left the stands and the carter but it was our place. Were very much at home. There and one thing they were doing and as weird lab was trying to answer this big question. How much fat do we have in our bodies. This was important because scientists figured it was the first step and understanding whether fat is bad for us

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