Measurement of Health: Our Neck?

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I think measuring things like weight and BMI isn’t all that useful.  I just don’t feel that the information tells us a whole lot about our health. I believe that it gives us a sliver of information, not the whole picture.  I believe that focusing on behavior is much more important.  Working towards healthier eating habits and moving our bodies more is far more productive for our health than being concerned about the number on the scale (which for someone who works with eating disorders knows that weight tells very little about health).

Check out the book “Big Fat Lies” if you are interested.  The author describes (in detail) the flawed data that our current BMI and weight charts as based on.  I highly recommend it.

Just today, a client forwarded me an article I couldn’t help blogging about because it’s just so darn ridiculous.    Apparently a new study shows that your neck measurement may actually be a better way to determine your body fattness.  What!?  As if we need another number to be concerned about.  

The study authors had the following to say:

“We’ve been using BMI to advise parents and patients for making healthy choices,” he said. “Unfortunately, often we tell someone their BMI is 27 or 30, most of the time it doesn’t mean much. To tell you that your neck is wide, these are some of the risks associated to it — that we feel people would be able to relate to it better than BMI.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Let me be so bold as to offer you some advice- stop obsessing about numbers.  Stay focused on what you can do today and every day to be healthy: get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat lots of produce, make an effort to move your body, you get the idea.