Something's Wrong With The Body Mass Index

If you've ever calculated your BMI (body mass index) and groaned at the category you found yourself in, you're not alone. And a post on the blog Feministe links to a collection of photos put together by a woman named Kate Harding. Harding asked friends — and any other women — to volunteer photographs, height and weight information. The result? Pictures that shock. Because a woman with what you might consider to be a "normal" body is, by BMI standards, "overweight."

A tall, curvy woman falls in the obese category. Harding's friend <a href="http://www.laurieruettimann.com

">Laurie, who is 5 feet tall and wears a size 4, is "overweight." The pictures highlight not only what a failure a "standard" index can be, but also challenges what we expect to see when we think of terms like "morbidly obese." The World Heath Organization claims that there are over 1 billion overweight adults on our planet. And clearly, not all of them are both "morbidly obese" and triathletes, like Sarah, the woman pictured. But people around the world come in so many different shapes, sizes and proportions — does having a standard index help the ones who actually need it?

The Obesity Epidemic, In Pictures [Feministe]

Why BMI Is a Crock, In Pictures [Shakesville]

Related: BMI Calculator [CDC]

Obesity and Overweight [WHO]