BMI Charts No Longer A Good Indicator Of Health Or Beauty


For decades we have been used to those good ol’ BMI charts at our local doctors which is supposedly an indicator of how on point (or how far off) we are with our health in relation to our body shape and size.

We’ve never really felt the need to question it, since it IS coming from an authoritative medical source, but recently, the charts have come under question. Not necessarily from a medical point of view, but from a personal one, showing others that perhaps we should be questioning all the “standards” we are used to growing up.

Blogger Amber Rogers wrote a piece on the Women You Should Know website detailing why her experience with BMI charts has turned her off them forever. Amber is a mom who has experienced health issues of her own, leading her to take it seriously and encourage others through her journey on her blog Go Kaleo.

Her piece on the WYSK website caused quite a stir because of public damning of these “standards” when it comes to body image.

“This picture is an accurate representation of what I look like today. Most people would say I look fit. Only the most extreme would say I am fat. I am regularly referred to as ‘lean’ and ‘thin’.”

“And yet. I weigh 170 pounds, which puts me just into the ‘overweight’ category on the BMI charts according to my height (5’9). Today I am wearing a pair of jeans that is a size 14W – which means I found them in the plus size department (I also have clothes in my closet in sizes 4-12, that all fit. I most often wear clothes labeled between 8 and 12).”

“It is time for a new paradigm. Our worth as women (and men) is not determined by our weight, or our clothing size, or any other arbitrary number assigned to us.”


Looking at her picture makes us think the BMI scale could now just be another form of size-ism and is irrelevant to how healthy we really should be. Amber, who refers to herself as her daughter’s primary female role model (power to you mama!) successfully reversed obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome with exercise and food choices, yet the BMI chart shows her in the plus size range, which , according to most media, means she might not be seen as at her best. As if she still could lose a little more weight because clearly she isn’t in the “normal” or straight-sized category.

Amber isn’t the only woman calling into account these so-called body standards we need to live by. British woman Julie Creffield has been overweight most of her life, according to what society and the media tells her (and many other men and women).

But this woman is also on a mission to prove that physical size is not a direct correlation with health, and is an advocate of the “healthy at every size” approach. Julie says being overweight doesn’t necessarily make you unhealthy, just as much as being skinny doesn’t automatically prove you are fit.

She was forced into action after running a marathon at age 23 and was told by an on-looker “run fatty run”. She was a size 18. She said she nearly died from embarrassment, but it also made her realize there is a lot of misinformation out there which has seeped its way into our culture for far too long, ensuring that the masses are trained to think an overweight person must be unhealthy or obese.

She started a website called The Fat Girls Guide To Running where she encourages women of all shapes and sizes to run marathons with her, and to know that a BMI chart, or a nasty comment shouldn’t be any indicator of your health, your worth or your beauty.

Julie also has a daughter and wants to be a positive body image influence on her, so she eats healthy along with her exercise routine. Yet when you look at her, she is not a size 0 and doesn’t ever plan to be, instead she is focused on helping others get healthy by breaking down negative connotations that have hung around for far too long about larger women’s bodies.

“I want to be a good role model for people. I don’t want to say you can literally eat whatever you want as long as you exercise and be healthy because that isn’t the case,” she told the Daily Mail.


“Obesity is a huge concern around the world, but inactivity is the big killer of our time. Many people think that running is something that fat women can’t or shouldn’t do at all, including some medical professionals. I am on a mission to prove otherwise.”

“Healthy at every size…focuses on helping anyone interested in being as healthy as they can be in the body they have right now,” she said about hoping to challenge the size stigma out there.

“I love the way that others feel they have the right to tell me whether I am or am not fat. The doctors tell me I am, the media tell me I am, the fact that many highstreet stores do not stock clothes to fit me sure as hell tells me I am, I mean they have specific ‘fat’ clothes stores and worse still ‘fat sections’ so if you are overweight, you kinda know it,” Julie wrote in a blog post on her site.

Women have been flocking to Julie’s website and clearly she has hit a nerve and is giving these women something valuable.

While we are not saying all doctors are wrong about everything, we are advocating everyone to do their own research and get to know their own bodies. Doctors and medical experts can only tell you so much about yourself after spending an hour with them.

It is time we challenge the health and beauty standards on all fronts, and question why they have become the norm. Are they realistic? Are they actually helping people? The great thing about the internet and social media is that it has given every day people a much louder voice than ever before to share their stories in the hope that they can inspire others.

Creating any standard is always going to be a bit of a failure because we as humans are so diverse. Bravo to both of these bloggers and all the other men and women out there challenging the standards in the name of real health and beauty.



  1. cheryldelp says:

    I agree, these charts need to be changed! You can lose too much weight also. Fat chance of that happening to me~~I love my food way too much! But I have seen folks that fit the chart, still have health problems, and look like death warmed over too! There is no chart that fits everyone! That’s why we are called individuals.

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  3. BMI chart is only a simple measure of weight to height. It doesn’t take into account shape or size. It isn’t an indication of your self worth, that’s for sure. Only you can have the sense of self worth, and I don’t think a chart can measure that. It is simply a guide to help people know what their goal should be for a healthy weight. If you have a BMI over 30, you are obese, no matter what you think! If the chart is changed, that allows society to get more obese, and more unhealthy.
    We aren’t going to change the chart just so those who don’t fall under a BMI of 30 can feel better about themselves.

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